Donald Vs. The Gorgon

With concatenated hat-tips to our friends Horace Jeffery Hodges and Bill Vallicella, here is a superb essay on the Trumpian assault on the postmodernism that has had a death-grip on Western culture for some time now (and which, I have argued, has its roots in the radical skepsis that was born in the Enlightenment itself).

Central to the argument is that Mr. Trump is canny enough to fight the postmodernist devil not by direct dialectical opposition, but by turning its own method against it. (In this, as I mentioned over a year ago, there is a satisfying Alinskyist irony.)

I’m reminded of how Perseus slew Medusa: he was able to approach her safely by looking only at her reflection in his shield. Millennia later, Mr. Trump is beheading the Gorgon by becoming its reflection.

In this context I’ll recommend also The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, by Michael Walsh (who may be known to some of you as “David Kahane“.


  1. Whitewall says

    I wonder if the quick re-emergence of the shrinking Barack Obama will prevent the Dems from doing a needed post mortem or hasten the post mortem? If the Left prevents the post mortem while the Dems and some liberals insist on going ahead with the job, I can see where those forces could turn Lefty on Lefty, demanding each to hold fast in the name of ideological purity. They always get around to this “purity” thing.

    Posted February 1, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink
  2. Bluefin Tuna says

    The great rhetoricians, ever since Socrates, have always battled skeptics and scoffers by turning their own skepticism against them- attacking them not for doubting the things they doubt, but for failing to doubt the things they trust. Pascal and Nietzsche both employed the same technique to different ends, one asking the atheist to doubt the utility of his atheism, and the other asking modern man to show his faith in enlightened liberal and scientific progress the same doubt and skepticism he shows the rejected God of his ancestors. In the Book of Job, even God Himself uses this rhetorical art, replying to Job’s complaints not with answers, but with more questions: “Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth?

    In any case, it’s amusing to see newsmen breathlessly ranting that “There are no alternative facts! Reality is reality!” and insisting on the necessity of everyone conforming himself to accurate scientific truth, when just two years ago every news outlet with was celebrating with one voice the “bravery” of a delusional man demanding everyone treat him as a woman.

    Posted February 1, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

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