The left is crying. One guy on twitter is nearly suicidal. Hoft has more.
Here’s what happened.
Someone posted this photo on twitter. All the sane people laughed.
@realDonaldTrump retweeted. And now it’s the left’s new Russian conspiracy.
I remember when all the best comedians were liberals. But the new left traded its sense of humor for baseball bats with ten penny nails.
Meanwhile, the pre-schoolers at CNN have their panties in a bunch because the President of the United States wore a hat emblazoned with USA.
Does anyone at CNN even know a person who managed to reach psychological adulthood? Apparently, you’re required to have a pervasive developmental disorder just to apply to the network. CNN should change its letters to IEP.
“It’s your life. You don’t know how long it’s gonna last, but you know it doesn’t end well. You’ve gotta move forward … as soon as you can figure out what that means.” —Don Draper, Mad Men, Season two, Six Month Leave
Dear People of Houston (and thereabouts),
President Trump has said, “the whole world is watching.” And he’s right!
When people say “the whole world is watching,” they usually mean it as a warning. The hippies chanted “the whole world is watching” in Chicago in 1968. They meant it as a warning to the Chicago police.
But when President Trump says “the whole world is watching,” it’s not a warning. It’s praise. It expresses his admiration.
The whole world admires you, Houston. (When I say “Houston,” it’s a shortcut. Forgive me. By “Houston,” I mean everyone whose life was disrupted by Hurricane Harvey. People who lost property, loved ones, pets, livelihoods. And also those who dropped their own concerns and rushed into the disaster to help. You are all “Houston,” whether you live there or not.)
The world admires you, Houston.
Admiration doesn’t replace a sofa or a house. And nothing replaces a human life. Or a puppy.
But admiration is a wonderful thing to have. Especially when the whole world admires you.
You know, Houston, that President Trump’s effusive confidence was the perfect tonic. You don’t need the president’s pity and sorrow. You’ve got that in droves. When President Trump said “congratulations,” only you understood why. You and the president. It was a private message that the whole world heard. “Congratulations.”
Some people asked, “Congratulations? Seriously? Congratulations for losing everything?”
“Mourning is just extended self-pity.” —Don Draper, Mad Men, Season one, Babylon
Those people don’t get it. But you do. Houston gets it. Yes, you lost your house. You lost your school. You lost your car. But you gained the world’s admiration. You gained confidence that you can survive anything. You gained awareness of your strength. Strength you never knew you had. Strength that had never been tested. Strength that those head-scratchers can only wonder about.
But you gained the world’s admiration. You gained confidence that you can survive anything. You gained awareness of your strength. Strength you never knew you had. Strength that had never been tested. Strength that those head-scratchers can only wonder about.
“You’ll tell them that it didn’t work out, because it didn’t. You’ll tell them the next thing will be better, because it always is.” —Don Draper, Mad Men, Season five, Commissions and Fees
You also gained a new lease on life. You learned that our lives are not really ours. The universe can take a life away anytime it chooses. There’s nothing anyone can do.
But when a disaster visits your town and washes everything away, the old lease on life goes, too. Those left to clean up the mess, like you, get a new lease.
I’ve started over a lot, Lane. This is the worst part.” —Don Draper, Mad Men, Season five, Commissions and Fees
What the world sees when it looks at Houston: strength, community, pride, work, and love.
President Trump used the best words on Saturday: love, wonderful, love, wonderful, congratulations, and thank you.
“It’s been a wonderful thing. As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing. I think even for the country to watch and for the world to watch. It’s been beautiful.” —President Trump, Houston
Those of us in St. Louis and New York and Tennessee admire you, Houston. We admire, but do not envy, you. You have taken the nation’s burden of division and violence on your broad, brave shoulders. Rescuer or rescued, you solved our problem for us. You showed us how it’s done.
You showed us the way. Not with words. Words are cheap. You showed us with your actions. And just two words: “Follow me.”
The Cajun Navy. The US Coast Guard. Police. Firefighters. Volunteers. Nurses and doctors.
You didn’t tell us about your “principles.” You lived them.
“Sheep don’t bring their owners grass to show how much they ate. Instead, they digest it and produce milk and wool. Similarly, don’t make a show of principles you live by. Instead, live by them fully and show others by your actions how much you have learned and made it your own.” —Epictetus. The Good Life Handbook: Epictetus’ Stoic Classic Enchiridon
Houston, you have so far to go. But, as President Trump said, the water is disappearing. The water is going down fast.
Not fast enough, it seems. And, soon, your plight will be forgotten. The world is fickle. A new news cycle needs a new story. To feed the media money monster.
While the world’s attention will wane, the world’s admiration remains. It’s how we’ll repay the gift you’ve given.
But you, Houston, don’t need our praise. You don’t need our flattery. You have what it takes. You have the right stuff. We’ve seen it.
We’ve been saying “America is back” ever since President Trump’s beautiful inauguration in January. And we meant it.
But “America is back” rose to a higher level today. A level not since the days following 9-11. Or maybe the greatest moments of the Reagan administration.
Today, in Houston, we saw the America of our dreams. The America that makes us cry when we hear the national anthem. Or when we see a soldier in Iraq bending down to help a tiny Iraqi child.
Today, in Houston, we saw the America that some wish would go away. The America that catches your breath and flutters your heart. Like seeing an aircraft battle group returning from a combat deployment. Or Sully landing that airplane on a river.
Today, in Houston, we saw what the whole world saw: Americans are at their best when circumstances are at their worst. When the universe spits in our eye, we don’t blink. We rescue, recover, rebuild, and rejoice.
“Congratulations,” is what President Trump told everyone he met. Congratulations for showing such fortitude and resilience. Congratulations for rising to the occasion. Congratulations for letting the natural born hero inside you come out.
To the many service members President Trump met at Ellington Air Base, he said, “thank you.” Hundreds of times, he said “thank you. The whole world is watching.” President Trump shook hundreds of service member’s hands. Hands that have pulled tens of thousands of lives to safety in the last week. Hands that previously sent evil enemies to the gates of hell. American hands equally capable of fierce brutality in war and velvety compassion in tragedy.
And President Trump shook them all.
Today, I saw America in living color. The first time she looked so sharp and clear and strong in decades. Today, I saw the America of my dreams. The America I served. The America my father served. The America my sons serve.
Today, our flag flies higher, our hearts beat prouder, and hope for the future burns brighter than in years.
There is a common misconception that conservatives are materialistic. We are not, and this confusion is a central political irony of our time. Progressives truly want to help the poor but have tried to solve poverty primarily with government money, relegating talk of culture to the past and focusing more and more on income inequality. The obsession with redistribution for its own sake comes skillfully wrapped in the moral language of fairness and compassion. This is materialism tarted up to look like moralism.
Progressive Materialism Causes Suffering
Leftist pundits wanted two things from President Trump:
Trump disappointed them. Instead, President Trump gave the people of Texas something invaluable. Something money and pity can’t buy. Something progressives and establishment Republicans hate.
Think about Trump’s words in Houston.
I listened to the President at the NRG Center. In my car. A live feed.
I heard “wonderful.” I heard “wonderful” again and again. I heard “beautiful.” I heard “inspiration.” I heard “waters are going down. Fast.” “Lots of water,” he said. “So much water. But it’s going away. It’s going away fast.”
And then, only then, President Trump spoke about money.
“Seven point nine billion.”
While the pundits and media tell hurricane victims “you’ll never recover,” Trump tells them their recovery is already underway.
While psychologists and hand-wringers say “you lost everything,” Trump says, “the best is yet to come.”
While CNN tells victims, “you poor thing,” Trump tells them, “you are a wonderful person. America is so proud of you. We love you. So much love.”
Progressives and others think only about material things. They measure life according to bank accounts and smart phone screen sizes.
President Trump measures life by something else. Something deeper. Something more enduring. As Arthur Brooks wrote in The Conservative Heart:
It is conservatives who stand for true hope, a hope that returns power and agency back into the hands of ordinary people. We extol free enterprise, self-reliance, and ethical living— the foundations of a good life, no matter how much money someone makes.
I wonder if Arthur Brooks appreciates how perfectly Donald Trump lives Brooks’s ideals. Or does Brooks let his disagreement with Trump’s style blind him to Trump’s truly conservative heart?
The people who lost all their material possessions to Hurricane Harvey need encouragement, not platitudes. The president is not a grief counselor. And victims don’t need a grief counselor, anyway. They need leadership. They need a leader to trigger a natural human response. A human response grief counselors suppress.
Most people who’ve experienced traumatic events don’t suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Most trauma victims flourish from the gift of post-traumatic growth.
Post-Traumatic Growth Improves Lives
My favorite thinker, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, tells the story of his first learning about post-traumatic growth. From Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:
My own domain dependence was revealed to me one day as I was sitting in the office of David Halpern, a U.K. government advisor and policy maker. He informed me— in response to the idea of antifragility— of a phenomenon called post-traumatic growth, the opposite of post-traumatic stress syndrome, by which people harmed by past events surpass themselves. I had never heard about it before, and, to my great shame, had never made the effort to think of its existence: there is a small literature but it is not advertised outside a narrow discipline. We hear about the more lurid post-traumatic disorder, not post-traumatic growth, in the intellectual and so-called learned vocabulary. But popular culture has an awareness of its equivalent, revealed in the expression “it builds character.” So do the ancient Mediterranean classics, along with grandmothers.
Intellectuals tend to focus on negative responses from randomness (fragility) rather than the positive ones (antifragility). This is not just in psychology: it prevails across the board.
Progressives and grief counselors want the president to trigger PTSD among Harvey’s victims. PTSD makes people more dependent on government. And on social services. PTSD robs a person of life and replaces happiness with material things. Things that get wiped out by the next flood.
President Trump has a better idea. He’s replacing people’s material goods with the gift of human flourishing. He’s triggering post-traumatic growth.
When President Trump tells Harvey’s victims that they are “wonderful,” that “this has been a wonderful thing,” he’s doing more for them than government and money ever could. He’s literally turning their tragedy into a blessing.
That’s the essence of leadership. It’s the bedrock of character. Trump knows the progressive pundits will criticize his words. But Trump doesn’t care about his reputation. He worries about his character. And the character of the victims of Harvey.
What I just heard from President Trump in Houston tells me Donald Trump is the greatest leader of my lifetime.
Social media was set ablaze after Paul Ryan attacked President Trump for condemning ‘both sides’ for the violence in Charlottesville. Trump supporters hammered Paul Ryan for refusing to condemn Antifa. It turns out the shaming worked. Finally.
The pressure mounted on Speaker Ryan after left-wing lunatic Nancy Pelosi released a statement Tuesday condemning Antifa violence in Berkeley.
Many people are asking two questions about Ryan’s belated comments on Antifa:
What the hell took so long?
Why hasn’t Ryan himself denounced Antifa?
And I’ll throw out one more question that I know you’re asking yourself:
Did Hennessy’s View influence the Ryan spokesperson’s comments?
While we wait for the Speaker to answer these questions, we look toward Mitt Romney. Will Mittens join Ryan and Nancy Pelosi in denouncing Antifa’s terrorism? What about John “Song Bird” McCain?
Do you think Ryan, McCain, and Romney really supported Antifa? Or were they just afraid to voice their fear and loathing of Antifa? I can’t decide.