So this is my fourth Hitler.
When I was a kid, I treasured my Book of Lists, and still remember big chunks of it. (But don’t know my own cell phone number a year after I got the damn thing…)
This paperback treasury of trivia included the results of a poll asking U.S. respondents to name “the most horrible human in history” or some such. Still stung by Watergate, they placed Richard Nixon in the No. 1 spot.
Ever after, I’ve pondered what that choice revealed about the American psyche: a deep, wide streak of provincial petulance? An unflattering flippancy? Pauline Kael’s “I only know one person who voted for Nixon” turned inside out, upside down, then weaponized somehow?
I don’t doubt that similar surveys taken during the 1980s and 2000s saw Reagan and “W” in the top 10 at least. Now poor Donald Trump will join that elite fraternity.
Frankly, I’ve been looking forward to dusting off my If George Bush is Hitler, why aren’t you a lampshade? bitchslap for deployment on social media over the next four years. But otherwise, I’m not sure what else I am looking forward to now.
Yes, I permitted myself to be thrilled last Tuesday night. Watching the needle on that New York Times dial grudgingly swing from “Clinton” to “Trump” over the course of the evening until it couldn’t budge any further is a sensation I’ll treasure forever. And I’ve watched this video way too often. Gavin McInnes’ victory-party footage, too.
You know why most of those Americans who are threatening to move up here to Canada, celebrities or otherwise, won’t actually bother?
It’s not just our weather. Or that they’ll find out their bodyguards won’t be able to carry handguns. Or that we don’t have Target, and that everything we do have is more expensive and not as cool. Look, Prince lived in Toronto’s poshest neighborhood for a few years, but then decided he still preferred…Minneapolis.
No, all those fantasy expats are going to stay put because, I fear, nothing much will change under Donald Trump.
For example: He’s already said he’s keeping the two dumbest parts of Obamacare. Insurance that can’t refuse applicants with preexisting conditions is no longer “insurance”; and letting “children” stay on their parents’ plans until they’re pushing 30 is even stupider. There’s no better time to buy insurance than when you’re young and healthy, before you need it (see above). This provision is feeding the infantilization of young adults that we’re seeing on display in campuses and on the streets.
Sadly, I’m pretty sure Trump is going to be like America’s other “Hitlers”:
The Nixon who brought in wage and price controls and the EPA. The Reagan who grew government and didn’t nuke Beirut. The Bush who didn’t smash the Social Security Ponzi scheme.
I also don’t think, despite a couple of aftershocks, that the media is “over” or has “learned its lesson.” Neither have the Democrats—and why do we want them to, by the way? So they can beat us next time? Stop passing this guy’s video around, ferchrissakes.
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