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Trump vs. Obama

American Politics

The defining characteristic of Obama is purportedly his narcissism, but Obama isn’t Obama because he’s a narcissist. Obama is Obama because he’s an ideologue, and that should be the characteristic that defines him. He’s an otherwise hollow man, filled with progressive dogma. He’s the perfect progressive creature: beyond student, beyond sycophant — an embodiment.

He doesn’t need narcissism to believe that he’s qualified to set aside the original republican structure of the United States as part of its fundamental transformation into a properly technocratic, modern society. All progressives believe that. He doesn’t need narcissism to believe that he'’s qualified to make otherwise sweeping changes to the structure of American society, or even changes to the basic relationships of all the world’s nations, or to believe with an indefensible certainty that all these changes should and must be made. Again, all progressives believe that.

Dostoevsky, shaking his head, in 1864, at the obdurateness and mindlessness of his contemporary Utopians:

You, for example, want to make man unlearn his old habits, and to correct his will in conformity with the demands of science and common sense. But how do you know that man not only can be but must be remade in this way? What makes you conclude that man’s wanting so necessarily needs to be corrected? In short, how do you know that such a correction will indeed be profitable for man? . . . So far, it’s still just your supposition.

Notes from Underground

(Trans. Pevear and Volokhonsky)

Trump might be a narcissist, but he’s not an ideologue.

Jindal acknowledged Trump's lack of ideological alignment:

Donald Trump is shallow. Has no understanding of policy. He’s full of bluster but has no substance. He lacks the intellectual curiosity to even learn.

He’s not a liberal, he’s not a moderate, and he’s not a conservative. He’s not a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. He’s not for anything or against anything. Issues and policies and ideals are not important to him. He’s for Donald.

Jindal, in sharpening his argument, goes too far — Trump is a Republican, and he’s obviously for things and against things. But it’s true that Trump would not pass many common political purity tests.

Note. Apparently, lack of ideological purity has stopped being a good thing. For the last few election cycles, conservatives have been told that seeking ideological purity made them “extreme.” Maybe if and after Bush wins the Republican nomination, a lack of ideological purity will, again, be a good thing.

If both of these men are narcissists, being a narcissist doesn’t mean being an ideologue, which Trump isn’t, or being politically disinterested, which Obama isn’t.

Trump is not politically “just another Obama.”



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