Sam Harris is one of the public intellectuals I admire the most. A brave and honest assessment of how the Left ruined what should have been a golden age of progressive politics in the United States.
One important point made by Harris and others is that many people voted for both Obama and Trump, making charges of racism problematic. Without compulsory voting, however, that number is probably exaggerated. In many formerly safe blue states, people who didn’t vote at all in 2008 and 2012 turned up for Trump, and many Obama supporters did not vote at all in 2016.
But if Harris downplays the role of racism it is only because so many others have overplayed it as a convenient explanation to an unprecedented loss.
Trump had a response to Islamic terrorism. Granted, his response was stupid and unworkable. His proposed ban on all Muslim immigrants has now been removed from his website. But at least, in a crisis moment, he appeared to be a leader who understood the problem and had a plan. At least he could bring himself to utter the words “radical Islam”. Obama and Clinton passed the PC test but failed the pub test in response to the Pulse shooting.
The US has elected its first president with zero experience in the military or public life. His stated economic and foreign policies come across as dangerous thought bubbles. Unless he is willing to be humble, surround himself with experts and seasoned political operators – and listen to their advice – their will be dire consequences.
But that is the point of this whole election. It is not always “the economy stupid”. In a global climate of fear, uncertainty, refugee crises, and terrorism, people are less concerned about more dollars in their pocket, better schools, affordable college education, and fair access to health care (all of which Clinton would have provided) and more concerned about feeling safe.
Trump won that argument though default and won the election.
Here are Sam’s thoughts on President Trump and the failure of the Left.