People on the left are forever thinking well about themselves when they exalt the lowly poor. When they cry out for world peace. When they declaim over race. As these Americans on the left prattle on about their alleged noble ends — as opposed to the means to those ends — some American conservatives have grown downright envious. Why cannot these conservatives think well about themselves, too, when they talk about poverty, about international relations or about race? The answer is that conservatives generally talk seriously about policies that lead to jobs for the poor, a modus vivendi for hostile nations, and the rule of law for all Americans. Still, such talk leaves these conservatives covetous of America’s sanctimonious left.
Their uneasy state of mind explains why some conservative pundits are so eager to inveigh against Donald Trump, comparing him to George Wallace, Hitler and Stalin. One conservative of a scholarly turn of mind even compared Mr. Trump unfavorably to Stalin. I shall mention no names because after these conservatives get over their self-indulgent hysteria, presumably, we will renew our old friendships. Though precisely how they are going to crawl back from the extreme positions they have taken I cannot imagine. Maybe they will insist they had another George Wallace in mind, one who lives in Schenectady and was famous for helping old ladies cross the street, and the names Hitler and Stalin were quite common in old Europe before Adolf and Joe blackened their reputations.