What has occurred in the American public political debate in the last week has been insane, and has shaken the confidence of everyone who wishes America well as to the mental stability and integrity of the American political class. That the national media and both parties in Congress are alarmed by Trump’s victory and aspects of his program, and are unconvinced of his durability, is in itself understandable, and has led to the false allegations that the president is a racist, a sexist, and a quasi-traitor who colluded with Russia to rig his election. This spiked momentarily a few months ago with widespread talk of impending impeachment (the absence of any evidence of the required crime was not noticed for a while), and now, unimaginably, he is accused of being a Nazi sympathizer. Racists David Duke and Richard Spencer approve of Trump’s attacks on Antifa and BLM, which the media take as confirmation that Trump is one of them. The most egregious charlatan in America, Al Sharpton, wants to rename the Washington Monument. Trump’s formerly most respectable critics are now clay in the hands of this riff-raff.
Madness is in the air, like a virus. The New York Times declares Trump’s sponsorship of Nazism on the front page. My former colleague at the Jerusalem Post, Bret Stephens, wrote last week in the Times that American Jews were now endangered by Trump’s anti-Semitism. Other highly intelligent and cordial acquaintances of many years routinely utter insane opinions, and often vile slanders: Charles Krauthammer declared it “a moral disgrace” for Trump to condemn the left-wing violence in terms similar to those with which he condemned the Nazis and the KKK. Bill Kristol accused Tucker Carlson, for no reason, of being an apologist for slavery and an anti-Semite. These pearls are representative of that formerly distinguished group. I know the people mentioned to be intelligent and decent, but I don’t know, even after speaking with some of them, why they have taken temporary leave of their senses. Falsely accusing someone of Nazism is morally equivalent to being a Nazi sympathizer; it is to this pitiable state that the country has been reduced.