Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday 5

  1. This is a fascinating article, period. It's about drug-overdose and suicide rates among the white "underclass." It argues that a crisis of AIDS-like proportion is unfolding in America. 
  2. One relatively minor point made in that article is that Donald Trump's popularity among whites without a college education is explained by the rising levels of despair among that population. Trump at least is the first candidate to speak about, give recognition to, their grievances.OK, I see that, but the trouble with that is,well, Trump is a complete idiot.
  3. Back during the primaries Donald said this to a North Dakota crowd: "Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing. I will give you everything. I will give you what you’ve been looking for for 50 years." As Krauthammer notes, to believe this--for thousands of people to believe this--requires the willing suspension of disbelief on a grand scale. But nations readily place their hope in "strong man" leaders when they have lost hope in everything else. At bottom I think this is a theological crisis, a faith crisis. 
  4. About every other day I think we may be heading into a very dark time. That this happens only every other day (and not every day) is probably an indication that I am essentially an optimist (that seemingly dying breed).
  5. Peggy Noonan's latest, The Shallows, is characteristically fine. People should read it. And I don't mean "Internet reading," which is to take it in at a glance and then, you know, make believe you actually read it. What I mean is,they should actually read it. Start at the beginning, then move on, sentence after sentence, to the very end.

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