this new yorker article requires a bit of pause. there’s a fair amount to embrace within this and a tacit call to pause your most angsty reactions to the past 4 years.
“Never play a guy at his own game; nobody makes up a game in order to get beat at it.”
He didn’t say as much as he might have or as many might have wanted. But this was surely due to his conviction, and the conviction of his circle, that an atmosphere of aggravation can only work to the advantage of the permanently aggrieved. With so many Americans in the grip of a totalized ideology of Trumpism—one that surmounts their obvious self-interest or normal calculations of economic utility—the way to get them out of it is to stop thinking in totalized terms. You get people out of a cult not by offering them a better cult but by helping them see why they don’t need a cult
flipped the other way, you can’t get things done if you’re swimming in the pool (cult?) if righteous rage. if things need to change there’s going to need to be a middle path.
We need to be careful that our necessary rebukes of the President don’t corner people into the kind of defensiveness that makes them even more vulnerable to those kinds of appeals.
The urge to fight it, hard, before it can return, seems irresistible. Yet Biden and his circle resist this fight, and it would be foolish to think that they resist it only out of blindness and opacity. They are betting on Charley Goldman’s wisdom: you can’t win playing the other guy’s game. This wisdom has taken them further than the more aggressive conventional kind might have imagined.
- location: Minneapolis
- weather: 62.6°F and Clear