The Taming of a Demagogue – by Ross Douthat – NYT

Recent political history has offered few spectacles more depressing than the acquiescence of leading Republican politicians to the rise of Donald Trump. The selection of a nominee for president is an act of moral gravity, and party elites have an obligation to resist and exclude figures who are ethically and temperamentally unfit to wield the presidency’s powers. That so many Republicans, while obviously believing Trump unfit on both counts, followed strategic failure with moral abdication and essentially shrugged at his ascent was an indictment of their leadership and a reason to root for their defeat.

I am less persuaded, however, by the argument that what leading Republicans have done since Donald Trump was elected president has been somehow more disastrous and morally culpable than their original surrender, and that conservatives who declined to vote for Trump but otherwise still voted Republican in 2016 should look at what’s happened since and begin voting lock step for the Democrats.

You hear this argument implied by liberals of all stripes, but it’s brought to a sharp point in The Atlantic this month by Ben Wittes and Jonathan Rauch, both writers who generally deserve the label “centrist.” Urging a “boycott” of the G.O.P., they write that “the Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy,” and that it therefore makes sense not only for swing voters but even for principled conservatives to cast ballots for the Democrats at every level until the danger of Trumpist authoritarianism has passed.

via The Taming of a Demagogue – The New York Times

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT 

Dear Ross, Almost everything you write is true, but you miss the big elephant in the room, as does Gemly, which is that the elephants, and many other species are facing extinction, because of overpopulation and climate change. Edward O Wilson of Harvard and his associates predict that with current human population trends, we are on track to lose about 80% of the world’s species in the next 80 years. Climate change is caused by carbon dioxide and other green house gas emissions, which are already taking a heavy toll on the human and non human life. The great barrier reef is half dead already. The 14 year drought in SW India dislocated 330,000 farmers. Over the last 30 years, roughly 100,000 farmers from that region have committed suicide the NYT reported in “The Unihabitable Village.” Capetown in South Africa is about to run out of water in a few months. NYT: from CNA, a research organization based in Arlington, Virginia. “Climate change is projected to make Iran hotter and drier. A former Iranian agriculture minister, Issa Kalantari, ..said that water scarcity, ..if left unchecked, would make Iran so harsh that 50 million Iranians would leave the country altogether.” Iran is about to turn into another Syria. Ross, respectfully, you need to do some reading at places like


David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at The and


About David Lindsay Jr

David Lindsay is the author of "The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth- Century Vietnam," that covers a bloody civil war from 1770 to 1802. It was published by Footmad and Cherry Blossom Press on September 11, 2017. Find more about it at, also known as,
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