A reminder that the only thing standing between us and the left's neo-Cultural Revolution is...Trump
Want to know why we got Trump?
The answer can be found in a brilliant column by Peggy Noonan, who describes what happened in China during its utterly vile Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, and compares the feel of it to the current behavior seen on the left around the country. It's not just the Democratic maniacs in Congress fueling the phenomenon; it's politics of political correctness in academia. It's the Twitter mob forcing publishers to pull books. It's in the destruction of Confederate statues, the covering up of Columbus pictures, and the renaming of airports. It's also in the groveling of the current Democratic presidential candidates over past positions, and it's in House speaker Nancy Pelosi's continuous bowing to the fresh new socialist revolutionaries elected to the Democrats' ranks — the ones who want to take away your cars and force you onto government health care and, more disturbingly, openly promote Jew-hatred which up until now has been the province of social pariahs. In short, the mania of the socialist left seen today has a valid parallel in China's Cultural Revolution and will lead the same place: a state-dominated hell.
Mao unleashed university and high school students to weed out enemies and hold them to account. The students became the paramilitary Red Guards. They were instructed by the party to "clear away the evil habits of the old society" and extinguish what came to be known as "the four olds"—old ideas and customs, old habits and culture. "Sweep Away All Monsters and Demons," the state newspaper instructed them.
With a vengeance they did.
In the struggle sessions the accused, often teachers suspected of lacking proletarian feeling, were paraded through streets and campuses, sometimes stadiums. It was important always to have a jeering crowd; it was important that the electric feeling that comes with the possibility of murder be present. Dunce caps, sometimes wastebaskets, were placed on the victims' heads, and placards stipulating their crimes hung from their necks. The victims were accused, berated, assaulted. Many falsely confessed in the vain hope of mercy.
Were any "guilty"? It hardly mattered. Fear and terror were the point. A destroyed society is more easily dominated.
It's a sensitive, insightful description of the problem, La Noonan at her very, very best, the same Noonan who gave us this column years ago about the authentic sentiment of voters around President George Bush and his detested TSA, something that was hard to read at the time because we conservatives tended to support or felt forced to support President Bush.
Noonan, who's a NeverTrump, must feel the same way about having to state the obvious from such a superb description of the parallel events. That missing conclusion in her piece is that the only one thing standing between this repulsive neo-Cultural Revolution and us is President Trump, someone she will never be able to bring herself to say good things about. She's a NeverTrump, after all, and her NeverTrumpism signals she's probably still a something of a stylist after status, which is roughly speaking, how Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit argues the NeverTrump crowd rolls.
Yet Trump won because he defends us, the people, and our interests, favoring law and not just law, but the same set of laws for everyone. He couldn't care less about niceties or even being polite to these Cultural Revolutionaries who are out to kill us, because he's not concerned with status or making any such weasels at war with law, history, or civility feel good. He is the status.
This is why we got Trump.
That omission aside, there's no question that Noonan's analysis is seminal, a reminder of what we are up against and the coming reality should Trump not be able to hold it back. Leftist cultural forces are arraying against us and preparing to annihilate us. It's a totalitarian vision these monsters, each in his small way, are pursuing as they race to take down statues, haze authors into jelly, batter leaders for past popular stances, enforce insane political correctness, physically attack dissidents and repress free speech at universities — all in a bid to seek to rebuild society from Year Zero as Pol Pot once did. The Cambodian monster, of course, took many of his ideas from Mao.
If you don't have a WSJ subscription to read this piece, Noonan's column can also be read on Outline.com here.