Trump (and his supporters)

 

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Orthodox Philosopher/Theologian/Renaissance Man David Bentley Hart wrote something in May of 2011 that I excerpt below.  Given the date, nobody who hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aid could think it’s a political hit job (unless David Bentley Hart is also an honest-to-gosh prophet, in which case you’d better heed that hit job):

[T]hinking about all of these things reminded me of a conversation I had, not long ago, with my friend the inimitable Ambrose d’Arcangeli (what a marvelous name that man has) about literary depictions of Satan, and how attractive, witty, glamorous, or appealing they often make the devil seem.

“I doubt he’s even very interesting,” Ambrose observed. “I mean, to the extent that the devil has any personality to speak of at all—even if the story is true and he was once an archangel or something of that sort—he must by now be a pretty sordid, unimaginative, and dreary little fellow. He would have to be so monstrously self-absorbed: not a brilliant conversationalist, not a philosopher and wit, not a bon-vivant or perverted aesthete, but just some tedious little troll, full of spite and resentment. He’s probably a monomaniac who talks about nothing but his personal grievances and aims, and in the bluntest, most unrefined language imaginable—the sort of person you try your best to get away from at a party.”

“But even the post-Promethean, post-Romantic Satan is too engaging a character, too debonair” Ambrose continued. “Dostoevsky’s devil in The Brother’s Karamazov, for example, the one who appears to the fever-ridden Vanya, is a bit of an invertebrate and a sponge, who goes about in the threadbare guise of a member of the impoverished petty nobility; but he’s still an enchanting talker, with a sense of humor, and considerable urbanity. If nothing else, writers always imagine the devil as well-read and something of a cosmopolitan, who’s able to explain himself in terms of one or another perfectly coherent moral philosophy. But, of course, the devil is really just a thug.”

… How then, I asked Ambrose, should one portray the prince of darkness?

After a pensive moment, Ambrose replied, “A merciless real estate developer whose largest projects are all casinos.”

And recalling this exchange brought Donald Trump to mind. You know the fellow: developer, speculator, television personality, hotelier, political dilettante, conspiracy theorist, and grand croupier—the one with that canopy of hennaed hair jutting out over his eyes like a shelf of limestone.

How obvious it seems to me now. Cold, grasping, bleak, graceless, and dull; unctuous, sleek, pitiless, and crass; a pallid vulgarian floating through life on clouds of acrid cologne and trailed by a vanguard of fawning divorce lawyers, the devil is probably eerily similar to Donald Trump—though perhaps just a little nicer.

(David Bentley Hart, May 2011) If you think the devil being nicer than Donald Trump is not just a hyperbole but a sacrilege, see Hart’s story of how Mr. Trump abused eminent domain against one Vera Coking to Make Atlantic City Great Again.

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I suppose one could dismiss David French’s observations on the “they’re all in bed together” theory, but wouldn’t it be better to explain how he’s like, y’know, wrong or something?

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“Liberal education is concerned with the souls of men, and therefore has little or no use for machines … [it] consists in learning to listen to still and small voices and therefore in becoming deaf to loudspeakers.” (Leo Strauss)

There is no epistemological Switzerland. (Via Mars Hill Audio Journal Volume 134)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

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