Has the Trumpian Revolution Begun?
The wailing and keening over the choice of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA appears to be a lead indicator of a coming revolution far beyond Reagan’s.
“Trump Taps Climate Skeptic For Top Environmental Post,” said The Wall Street Journal. “Climate “Environmentalism is well on its way to becoming the third great wave of redemptive struggle in Western history,” wrote Nisbet, “the first being Christianity, the second modern socialism.” In picking a “climate denier” to head EPA, Trump is rejecting revealed truth.
Yet, as with his choices of Steve Bannon as White House strategist and Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, he has shown himself to be an unapologetic apostate to liberal orthodoxy.
Indeed, with his presidency, we may be entering a post-liberal era.
In 1950, literary critic Lionel Trilling wrote, “In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation.”
The rise of the conservative movement of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan revealed liberalism’s hour to be but a passing moment. Yet, today, something far beyond conservatism seems to be afoot.
As Hegel taught, in the dialectic of history the thesis calls into existence the antithesis. What we seem to be seeing is a rejection, and a counterreformation against the views and values that came out of the social and political revolutions of the 1960s.
Consider the settled doctrine Trump disrespected with Pruitt.
We have long been instructed that climate change is real, that its cause is man-made, that it imperils the planet with rising seas, hurricanes and storms, that all nations have a duty to curb the release of carbon dioxide to save the world for future generations.
This is said to be “scientific truth,” and “climate deniers” are like people who believe the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it. Some hold the matter to be so grave that climate deniers should be censored for promoting socially destructive falsehoods.
Yet, the people remain skeptical.
Their worry is not that the rising waters of the Med will swamp the Riviera, but that tens of millions of Arabs, Muslims and Africans may be coming across to swamp Europe, and that millions of Mexicans may cross the Rio Grande to swamp the USA.
Call them climate deniers or climate skeptics, but they see the establishment as running the Big Con to effect a transfer of wealth and power away from the people — and to themselves.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.