The American Illness: Politics Won't Cure It

"Even more bizarre, both the Right and the Left have very similar solutions in mind. Both are very wrong." - Jonah Goldberg

649 reads

There are 4 Comments

mmartin's picture

Comment from another S.I. user blaming Trump will be posted in 3 . . . 2. . . 

Aaron Blumer's picture


"... community!"  So Goldberg doesn't get it either, but he's closer than most. And he's correct that both the right and the left are afflicted with their own toxic versions of nationalism.

Also a very interesting read... From Commentary

It’s not unreasonable to expect terrorists targeting strangers in acts of mass violence to have some ideological motivation. Nor is it arbitrary to identify and explore a shooter’s radical beliefs in the effort to stigmatize them and prevent copycat attacks. No one should be shocked to learn, though, that disturbed individuals who carry out perverse acts of terror adhere to disjointed and illogical doctrines.

... and no, the Goldberg piece doesn't blame Trump. Nor does the Commentary piece. The situation is more complex than that. 

GregH's picture

How can it be Trump's fault? Trump would be nothing were it not for people electing him. He is a symptom, not a cause.

What Goldberg says here is very similar to what Hannah Arendt said 60 years ago in The Human Condition. I think he is probably influenced by her and I actually think a lot of people today would be helped by reading that book. Maybe it does not have all the answers but there is a lot of good in it. She pretty much predicted 2019.

Aaron Blumer's picture


It's always disheartening to see so many leap to blaming a single factor when something terrible happens. ... or take someone's analysis read it as blaming a single factor. You can't even point out Trump's contribution without some accusing you of "blaming Trump." Likewise with guns or whatever other factor they're sensitive about.

But if a guy illegally parks his car next to a dead tree the city was "required" to cut down months ago but didn't, and a storm blows the tree over onto his car, who do we "blame" it on?

The truth is that blame is rarely a binary thing. It isn't all the guy who parked where he shouldn't have. It isn't all the city that failed to cut down the tree. It isn't all the storm (climate change strikes again!).

But we're lying to ourselves if we don't recognize that all these factors contributed (and we're not getting closer to solving the problem either).