“In [Our Manchurian President’s] speech, there are just two uncorrupted actors: the people and the president. The only thing that [Our Manchurian President] asks of citizens is to support him. So this really leaves only one actor who actually acts — a leader who claims to embody the general will. When [Our Manchurian President] asserts, “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth,” who is the “we”? It is the “forgotten men and women” and the single leader who has not forgotten them.
In this light, [Our Manchurian President’s] announcement of “the hour of action” has an ominous ring. He demonstrates no respect for norms of presidential magnanimity and self-restraint. He has declared that his “oath of allegiance” was taken “to all Americans” rather than to the Constitution. He is impatient with a corrupt and paralyzed legislature. And he has claimed a general mandate to interpret and pursue his vision of the people’s interests. In the past, we have, I have, been mistaken to discount and downplay the plain meaning of [Our Manchurian President’s] words. The oath of office has turned a laughable Putin imitation into to a very real concern.” * 1
- It is wishful thinking on the WaPo‘s part to believe Reaganism has died; if anything, Our Manchurian President intends to revive, indeed has already revived, the most reviled aspects of that discredited philosophy. However, if the WaPo means that Reaganism will be wholly appropriated, to the extent that future historians rename the malignancy Trumpism, then we are in agreement. ↩