The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The School of Hard Knocks

Posted on | May 14, 2018 | No Comments

Steven Hayward at Powerline catches David Brooks making a point about the educational value of Donald Trump’s background in business:

There is growing reason to believe that Donald Trump understands the thug mind a whole lot better than the people who attended our prestigious Foreign Service academies. . . .
Maybe Trump intuited something about the sorts of people who run the North Korean regime that others missed.

Hard times make hard men. The main problem with most alumni of elite universities is that they have never faced real adversity, or had to deal with people who are ready to use violence to get their way.

What people don’t like about Trump — his boasting, his vulgarity, his domineering personality — are traits developed in an environment where he was dealing with tough men on a daily basis, with his success dependent on his ability to get what he wanted from such men.

Also, as much as I despise David Brooks, he is correct to qualify his praise by noting that it is “impossible to know how things will pan out” in the Korean negotiations, or in any other area of foreign policy where Trump’s tough-guy posture is currently succeeding. We live in a dangerous world, and things could go sideways quickly. On the other hand, what’s the point of being the world’s greatest superpower, if we are not willing occasionally to employ our strength to our advantage? There is no such thing as a 100% guaranteed “safe” policy, but why not at least pursue a policy intended to advance our own national interests?

Here is another problem with the mindset of elite university alumni: They have generally been indoctrinated by leftist professors who do not believe that the United States has legitimate national interests. When I visited Harvard last fall with Da Tech Guy, the moment we stepped out of the MBTA subway station, we encountered a pro-DACA protest on campus. Imagine that! You’re attending a prestigious $65,000-a-year private university and you’re protesting in favor of criminals — people in the country illegally — to defend their “right” to a Harvard education?

The mentality that Shelby Steele described in his book White Guilt, where privileged people don’t think of their privileges as useful or legitimate, exercises its disastrous influence on U.S. policy, where the elite make misguided notions of “social justice” the basis of their preferences. Even if we stipulate their good faith, these people are mistaken in their beliefs, because what the elite think of as a policy of fairness and benevolence, our enemies perceive as symptomatic of decadent weakness. And I don’t think our enemies are necessarily wrong about this.

 

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