Monday, June 6, 2016

The Morning Reading: "No, He's Not Hitler. And Yet..."

from the Sunday New York Times; "No, He's Not Hitler. And Yet..." by Justin E. H. Smith:
....Mr. Trump is seeking to bring about a climate in which equally false claims may go unchallenged, in the name, purportedly, of something much more important than mere empirical fact: making America “great again.” The invocation of the past in this slogan is obviously mythological. No one will ever call on him to cite any dates or figures to back it up....Mr. Trump is banking on the American public’s willingness to revert to such a conception of truth that does not require any basis in fact. And it is here that a bit of von Ranke’s hardheadedness can serve as a corrective. We can worry later about drawing significant lessons from history, about finding meaning for our lives in the past. For now what is crucial is to insist that the past can be known — that Mr. Obama was not born in Kenya, that climate change was not made up by the Chinese and that anyone who pretends the opposite, as part of a larger plan to make America great again, is, as a matter of simple historical fact, an impious fraud and a liar....
To read the rest, click here.

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