Comparing Trump and Warren

Jonah Goldberg argues at National Review Online that President Trump and one of his chief antagonists have more in common than you might think.

Hold on. I know: Going by their personal lives, their demeanors, and their ideological agendas, they’re apples and oranges. But apples and oranges actually have a lot in common: They’re both fruits, they’re round, and they grow on trees. The most relevant difference boils down to a matter of taste. And that’s what I am getting at.

One of the best things about partisanship is how it sharpens our skepticism about the other side. When Trump gives a speech, liberals are like contestants on Jeopardy!, eager to hit the buzzer the moment they hear anything that pings their radar for hypocrisy, deceit, hyperbole, etc.

But the downside of partisanship is that it blinds us to the fakery of our own side. When the same liberals listen to someone like Warren, the buzzer gathers dust. …

… Warren’s catchphrase, “I’ve got a plan for that,” has as much cultural resonance with her base as Trump’s “Make America Great Again” does with his, and it’s remarkably similar to Trump’s “I alone can fix it.” It tickles the intellectual erogenous zones of a certain type of progressive wildly overrepresented in the upper echelons of the meritocracy. It screams: “We have all the answers!” and “We know what to do!”

Technocratic liberalism isn’t just an ideological worldview dating back to Walter Lippmann’s 1914 Drift and Mastery, it’s a cultural orientation. If you can’t see it, it’s probably because you’re part of it. Fish don’t know they’re wet, after all.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

Reader Comments