A Double-dose of Thymos!

by John Holbo on September 16, 2016

Welp, I guess The Claremont Review is bidding fair to be the intellectual organ – gland, call it what you will – of Trumpism:

The Flight 93 guy is back, and scolding critics for their lack of appreciation of ancient Greek rhetoric techniques. How ungracious to have missed that!

And there’s this:

Trump is a very American character, a very New York character, the businessman who understands the world: the sophos who could bring efficiency, toughness (his favorite quality), and common sense to politics, if only he were listened to.

Yeah, now that you mention it, he does kind of look like one! “These philosoph shoes, are longing to stray! … If I can think it there, I’ll think it anywhere!” But there is a threat!

Every republic eventually faces what might be called the Weimar problem. Has the national culture, popular and elite, deteriorated so much that the virtues necessary to sustain republican government are no longer viable?

Yeah, come to think of it, I liked it better under the Kaiser. After they moved it to Weimar? I dunno … it was like everyone just forgot what had made the Republic great. All those ancient, civic virtues Tocqueville had praised in Democracy in Prussia were just swirling the drain. Bismarck must have been spinning in his grave to see such a sad remnant of once vibrant Republicanism. And today we are seeing something like that again. It’s like people just don’t study history anymore.

As a sophos might say: sad.