April 27, 2016

WaPo columnist Kathleen Parker, trying her best to exemplify elitism, writes a column titled "Plato would be horrified by Trump’s rise."

Here. A commenter has an apt response:
As if Parker knows or cares anything about Plato. And as if her readers don't know and care even less. Plato was horrified by democracy itself. He thought the best form of government was one in which there's a dictator who's a philosopher. I'm supposed to care about what would horrify Plato?
I'm sure there's a Greek word for the rhetorical device of adopting the guise of someone else to deliver an opinion of one's own. It's a classic of religionists — who seem to know what God/Jesus/Muhammad thinks of what you are doing — and mothers — who've historically resorted to the terrifying news that your father wouldn't like that.

The column, by the way, was originally developed for a lecture she gave at the University of Virginia School of Law. She exhibits pride this provenance, but I can't imagine using the law school classroom to lambaste a particular political candidate.

91 comments:

David Begley said...

Plato would be even more horrified at today's Greek economy and bankrupt government.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Oh, so now Plato's going to move to Canada?

tim in vermont said...

Gilgamesh, OTOH, has weighed in for Trump.

traditionalguy said...

The Old Dominion tidewater culture was an aristocrat based hierarchy that supported living under a King. They never much liked that Rebellious wild man from a small mountain top in Charlottesville who trusted rural voters. OK, his City was named for their hero, Charles II of Restoration fame.

Old Virginia Class consciousness is fine until it allies itself with foreign powers against the rest of us to enrich themselves; and the Globalist Agenda is an open alliance with foreign powers.

Roughcoat said...

tim in Vermont:

Very funny!

WWSD? (What would Spartacus do?)

Alexander said...

Make Greek Philosophers Great Again!

traditionalguy said...

Methinks the DC Establishment living in Virginia is sweating the Rise of Trump. What if Trump means exactly what he says????

Squints said...

With apologies to the philosopher Don Charley Partanna:

If Plato's so effin' smart, how come Plato's so effin' dead?

Brando said...

I'm holding out until I hear what Cato the Elder would have wanted.

Robert Rogers said...

"The column, by the way, was originally developed for a lecture she gave at the University of Virginia School of Law. She exhibits pride this provenance, but I can't imagine using the law school classroom to lambaste a particular political candidate."

Forget it, Jake. It's Wahooland.

shiloh said...

Elitists and Greek philosophers aside, democracy can be messy ...

coupe said...

Her loud criticism of Trump, seems to be the only praise she has for the Canadian candidate.

robother said...

Parker finishes her peroration in the grand manner: "But what should be plain to everyone else is that the study of rhetoric is essential to an educated populace, lest rising generations fall prey to future demagogues and the perilous fates that await the unwitting."
No plebian thumbsucker she.

BarrySanders20 said...

But what would Plato's father think of this? Just wait until he gets home.

Sebastian said...

"but I can't imagine using the law school classroom" "I can't imagine": faux shock, right? It's what they do, it's who they are, it's what happens in many classrooms. But you knew that.

Really, in some ways I like the pose of cruel neutrality, the feigned "I can't imagine," the quaint attempt to uphold intellectual standards, but the reasonably foreseeable effect is to leave the field to Progs who don't give a damn about you and your precious standards, and who will tear down anything that stands in their way. (Not that, in this particular instance, Trump and his minions represent anything better.)

Ann Althouse said...

""but I can't imagine using the law school classroom" "I can't imagine": faux shock, right? It's what they do, it's who they are, it's what happens in many classrooms. But you knew that."

I can't imagine = I, a law professor, cannot picture being the law professor who would use a law school classroom that way. I mean it literally. Just like I can't imagine murdering someone.

Phil 3:14 said...

Not impressed by the column. Seems to throw in a bunch of words/phraes (logos, pathos) and someone else's explanation with the basic point that Trump is a dangerous populist.

Why do so many anti-Trump kind not realize their opposition and the related tactics strengthen the Trump train?

Ann Althouse said...

A better simile than murder would be: Just like I can't imagine stealing money from the students.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sebastian said...

"I can't imagine": faux shock, right?

I believe the Professor is saying that she can't imagine doing it herself, not that she can't imagine other professors doing it.

Gusty Winds said...

Blogger robother said...
Parker finishes her peroration in the grand manner: "But what should be plain to everyone else is that the study of rhetoric is essential to an educated populace, lest rising generations fall prey to future demagogues and the perilous fates that await the unwitting."

Parker fails the rhetorical analysis by injecting her version of morality. A true analysis of effective rhetoric, or persuasion, is its actual ability to persuade. Scott Adams seems to doing a pretty good job.

Her arrogance also damages her analysis trying to disingenuously protect the "fates that await the unwitting". As if only self-proclaimed intellectuals are guarded from sticking their heads up their ass. Look at what campuses have become all over America.

On the downside of this would be sophistry I guess, and we can accuse all our politicians of that. Empty rhetoric. Does anyone really think Hillary believes a word she says?

Big Mike said...

@traditionalguy, if you had checked with Charlottesville itself, you'd have discovered that the city is named after Princess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III of England.

@Althouse, maybe you "can't imagine using the law school classroom to lambaste a particular political candidate," but you're certainly in the minority among law professors. And, I suspect, a very small minority.

OTOH, I think when you write that Parker is "trying ... to exemplify elitism," I think you are onto something. She knows that there was an ancient Greek philosopher named Plato, and she has vague notions about what Plato wrote. But it seems unlikely that she actually has read The Republic, even in the Cliffs Notes version.

Big Mike said...

@Meade, your wife just backed off from the statement that she can't imagine murdering someone. Better start doing the dishes!

Peter said...

Well, it is funny in that if all you know of Plato's "Republic" is the title you might think he's describing an ideal polity based on ideas that are not too different from those of the 18th century enlightenment.

Instead of what it actually is, a totalitarian city-state in which ordinary citizens have no voice and in which government dictates everything, all the way down to the music you may play or listen to.

Presumably high school and college students no longer read Plato, now that there are so many newer, trendier authors to read who are not dead white men.

Gusty Winds said...

Parker is a law professor arguing against Trumps ethos, pathos, and logos. Applying a moral obligation to the speaker in rhetorical analysis assumes that only speech focused on truth and the moral good can be considered "good rhetoric".

Parker if full of shit. She trains lawyers. I can't imagine any type of training to be a lawyer includes "tell the truth all the time". If it does, it's with a wink. The whole point to being a lawyer is to win, and walk a fine line between truth and fiction; to create confusion, not clarity. It's not to represent the truth.

People like her Parker are the reason for Trump's current success.

Hagar said...

"Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob."
James Madison

Ron said...

The guy who wrote the Symposium which has a bunch of hung over drunks bitching at Socrates about not talking about anything too complicated, and that King Hell Biotch Socrates says "Fine, let's talk about the nature of Love"...that guy might like Trump.

The writer of The Laws....not so much.

cubanbob said...

Parker reminds me of a scene in Mel Brooks movie History Of The World Part One where Comicus (Brooks) has to justify asking for his welfare payment to the clerk (Bea Arthur)except Parker isn't funny.

William said...

This is speculative on my part, but I think that Aristotle, for all his superior inclusivity, would not be all that enthusiastic about including convicted felons into the electorate in Virginia. The overwhelming support that Hillary receives from rapists will undoubtedly help her win Virginia's electoral votes, but that's not a proper way to win elections.

Saint Croix said...

a totalitarian city-state in which ordinary citizens have no voice and in which government dictates everything, all the way down to the music you may play or listen to.

Don't forget the slavery and the baby-killing!

Whenever I think of Plato I think of the United States Supreme Court.

Saint Croix said...

And I thank God for Hugo Black.

PJ said...

One needn't be a proponent of democracy or any other form of government to have insight into such matters as how each form works, what its weaknesses are, how it takes hold and sooner or later declines, and what qualities it produces in its citizens/subjects. Book VIII of The Republic (of reasonable length and available free online) has much of value to say on those subjects, which we ignore at our peril. I think there's plenty in there that's relevant to current American politics, and not just to one candidate.

holdfast said...

Establishment tools like Parker greatly facilitated the rise of Trump through their treatment of the GOP base, and a refusal to back Cruz a couple of months ago. They are going to get exactly what they deserve. Too bad the rest of us have to be along for the ride.

Sebastian said...

"I can't imagine = I, a law professor, cannot picture being the law professor who would use a law school classroom that way. I mean it literally."OK, I take the point and I share the dislike that underlies it. Not to go all Althouse on you, but the original post referred to "using the classroom"; the reply refers to "being the law professor." I can imagine that you can't imagine "being" a person who violates your own commitments, but I can't imagine that you can't imagine "using the classroom" in the way the post described. I mean it literally. I just can't imagine being a blogging law prof who prides herself on being exquisitely attentive to the nuances of other people's utterances who is nonetheless unable to imagine doing something not like stealing or murder, but something that in academic settings has become entirely routine and straightforward and professionally relevant and politically consequential. Of course, from one angle, it is like stealing and murder. (I mean, what Those People do, not you.)

jelink said...

Althouse: "I can't imagine = I, a law professor, cannot picture being the law professor who would use a law school classroom that way. I mean it literally. Just like I can't imagine murdering someone."

***************************

IOW you can't "imagine" someone SAYING SOMETHING in a particular forum as being THE SAME as "imagining" someone MURDERING someone, a physical and criminal ACT.

Okaaaaayyyy..............

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

My understanding is that historians have a word for venturing a prediction about what a historical figure would do after death. For example, saying that George Washington would have never vetoed the War Powers Resolution.

My understanding is that such speculation is very much pooh-poohed by legitimate historians who don't need the money.

robother said...

"Her arrogance also damages her analysis trying to disingenuously protect the "fates that await the unwitting".

Yeah, like we should be counting on someone who fell head over heels for Obama in 2008 to protect us from the "perilous fates that await the unwitting." Amazing how many people with BA degrees become so beguiled by academic rhetoric that they lose their native wit.

Birkel said...

Althouse:

You cannot imagine running a confidence scam on students? Neither could the victims of Bernie Madoff.

You suffer a failure of imagination. You could not imagine Obama meant to undermine the institutions that made America great. But he did. You were warned.

The academy has been terribly stultifying. Perhaps you should have grown up poor and been mugged by reality. The good news is that future generations will have that luxury in abundance.

damikesc said...

The column, by the way, was originally developed for a lecture she gave at the University of Virginia School of Law. She exhibits pride this provenance, but I can't imagine using the law school classroom to lambaste a particular political candidate.

Maybe just entire groups of people. Like white folks.

After all, Critical Race Theory wasn't controversial in law schools.

Methinks the DC Establishment living in Virginia is sweating the Rise of Trump. What if Trump means exactly what he says????

He doesn't. He's a terrible dealmaker. He will just continue making terrible deals.

Parker finishes her peroration in the grand manner: "But what should be plain to everyone else is that the study of rhetoric is essential to an educated populace, lest rising generations fall prey to future demagogues and the perilous fates that await the unwitting."

Given that the educated TEND TO BE the demagogues, I'm not buying it. Obama had no problems demagoguing the shit out of people and he's educated, last I checked.

Hell, at least the "uneducated" worry about legitimate things. They worry that Democrats want to take their firearms, based on a long history of Democrats trying to take their firearms. The educated worry that, unless massive change is done now at massive cost, the Earth MIGHT see a temperature increase of 1 degree over the next century, which would obviously cause floods and catastrophes that would make the Old Testament look like a happy story.

"Why did the Earth flood and break open, dad?"

"Well, son, one day it went from 78.5 degrees to 79.2 degrees. It went all downhill from that."

Just like I can't imagine stealing money from the students.

Do you think ethnic studies professors think that, even though they do PRECISELY that?

buwaya puti said...

Someone mentioned Cato the Elder.
That's my guy.
Sadly, most of his works don't survive; if they had who knows how intellectual history would have gone.

Anyway, as for Cato's opinion of the Greeks -

"When those folk give us their writings they will corrupt everything".

EMD said...

Just like I can't imagine stealing money from the students.

And yet you work at UW. ; )

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Yeah, right on sister, it would be terrible if the American public was hoodwinked and voted for a candidate who demagogued, spoke in empty platitudes, couldn't help but fallaciously present real disagreements as false choices, always attacked straw men while avoiding actual substantive discussion (all while endlessly calling for "conversatiosn"), etc...hey, just wondering, what did ol' Kathleen think Plato would have said about candidate Obama? Jk, jk; Obama's one of us smart people, Plato'd have loved him!

For some reason reading about Parker inspires me to remind David Brooks that he should go fuck himself.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Loudmouth populists have always been with us. They only occasionally gain popularity sufficient to cause trouble. I don't find it all that interesting to attack a given populist nor to decry the fact that a particular populist exists.

I do find it interesting and worthwile to ask why a given populist gains a following or is popular at a given time/situation. People like Parker (and Brooks, et al.) seem to be determined to avoid answering that question in any depth. Why is that? Do they feel like they themselves are partially to blame?

Quaestor said...

Go back and read "The Republic". If you haven't lately I recommend the translation by Benjamin Jowett. I think most Americans would be horrified by power of the State as envisioned by Plato.

Every sophomore is a Platonist, which explains Kathleen Parker rather nicely... the sophomore part, I mean.

JPS said...

"Now. You have just assaulted the one man who can keep you out of jail and make you rich. So what are you going to do about it, huh? What would…an intellectual do? What would Plato do?"

- Wanda Gershwitz, A Fish Called Wanda

Fernandinande said...

"Life is like riding a bicycle; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."

Qwerty Smith said...

Let me translate Parker's column from the Greek: "I have a column due really soon, and everybody has already jeered Trump a gazillion times. But I have to write about something, so I'll recycle this college speech."

This is sort of like when George Will writes a column that just summarizes someone else's book. The columnists' job is to write a couple of columns each week, whether or not they have anything to say that week.

mockturtle said...

Demagogue: (in ancient Greece and Rome) a leader or orator who espoused the cause of the common people.
Origin
mid 17th century: from Greek dēmagōgos, from dēmos ‘the people’ + agōgos ‘leading’ (from agein ‘to lead’).


The elites have always hated populists. And, as has been shown throughout history, populism can be messy--even dangerous--but sometimes necessary to shake the complacency of the established order. While Huey Long was a flawed governor, he did deliver for the average citizens of Louisiana. Of course the political establishment hated him and fought him viciously.

Quaestor said...

"What would Plato do?"

Thanks for recalling Otto for me. It brightened my day. Kevin Kline won an Oscar for that shit. It was good shit evidently.

Char Char Binks said...

Trump went to two rich-boy schools, then, through his daddy's money and influence, went to Fordham, then Wharton, and ended up with a BACHELOR'S DEGREE in REAL ESTATE, with all the scholarly qualifications of a realtor, but with an Ivy imprimatur. If that's not the makings of a philosopher king, I don't know what is.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikee said...

Gilgamesh for Trump?
What about Darmok and Jalad... at Tanagra!

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

"The Republic" is a horrible translation into modern word/concepts. It should be, "The State". Then, you can almost read the book by its cover.

mccullough said...

I'm sure Plato would say women should not have offices of power so vote for Trump

Big Mike said...

Kathleen Parker and Jennifer Rubin are the Post's version of David Brooks -- the editors' idea of what a "proper" conservative ought to be like. You need to keep this in mind whenever you read them.

Kyzernick said...

If Hillary wins, all will be as Shaka when the walls fell.

cubanbob said...

Dole Office Clerk: Occupation?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher.
Dole Office Clerk: What?
Comicus: Stand-up philosopher. I coalesce the vapors of human experience into a viable and meaningful comprehension.
Dole Office Clerk: Oh, a *bullshit* artist!
Comicus: *Grumble*...
Dole Office Clerk: Did you bullshit last week?
Comicus: No.
Dole Office Clerk: Did you *try* to bullshit last week?
Comicus: Yes!

The distilled essence of Parker and the Washington Post.

buwaya said...

"Trump went to two rich-boy schools, then, through his daddy's money and influence, went to Fordham, then Wharton, and ended up with a BACHELOR'S DEGREE in REAL ESTATE,"

Cato the Elder learned all he needed to from running his Sabine farm.

icepilot said...

"I can't imagine using the law school classroom ..."

I can. Easily. Actually, pretty much automatically. In fact, to think that the Social Justice Warrior crowd would not, is self delusional.

Fernandinande said...

buwaya said...
"BACHELOR'S DEGREE in REAL ESTATE,"
[Actually economics - Ed.]
Cato the Elder learned all he needed to from running his Sabine farm.


"I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave [education] evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by a educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilised in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman and child." -- Take a Wild Guess

Brian said...

What do we imagine Plato would think about an opinion-leader who radically changed her entire worldview because the party that represented her previous views presented a candidate who was prettier than her?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Kyzernick said...
If Hillary wins, all will be as Shaka when the walls fell.


Cruz & Kaisach are all Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra now and want to be Darmok and Jalad on the ocean, but it sure seems like the Republican electorate is Chenza at court, the court of silence. My theory is Trump's popularity is what happens when the "establishment" is Kiteo, his eyes closed. But I agree, when H. Clinton's elected, Shaka.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Off topic but I love that word "lambaste".

I have a leg of lamb in the oven, I think I need to lamb baste it so it doesn't dry out.

And, Ann, do you not lambaste your students? The dear little lambs and you baste them with knowledge? Most of which probably runs off.

John Henry

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...

A better simile than murder would be: Just like I can't imagine stealing money from the students.

And yet isn't that what many university programs do to many of their students? take their $10-50m per year for 4 years then send them out into the world having failed to teach them anything useful? Not even how to think in many cases.

How much do students at UW pay to take one of your classes? Do they get an equivalent or greater worth of knowledge from the class? If you, you via the U are stealing from them.

Based on what I know of you, 100% from here, I suspect that they are getting value for their money and that you, Ann, are not stealing from them. I do not think that is true about many professors in many fields at many schools. I have no problem at all imagining professors stealing from students. Happens every single day.

John Henry

mockturtle said...

"I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave [education] evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by a educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilised in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman and child." -- Take a Wild Guess

Albert Einstein? Scientists usually make poor economists and even worse philosophers.

David Wharton said...

"I'm sure there's a Greek word for the rhetorical device of adopting the guise of someone else to deliver an opinion of one's own."

The word is "prosopopoeia": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopopoeia

Michael K said...

"But it seems unlikely that she actually has read The Republic, even in the Cliffs Notes version."

She seems to me to be faking it. Aristotle attended Plato's Academy but they had very different interests. The teacher-pupil relationship was between Socrates and Plato. Plato's Republic was about his ideal society and was based on Sparta. Socrates, in spite of Plato's efforts to save him, was put to death by the democrats. They were never trusted by Plato, who was a knight and not a democrat.

Aristotle was much more interested in "natural philosophy" which is what we call science. He was hired by Philip to be Alexander's tutor.

I'd say Parker was bullshitting.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger Qwerty Smith said...

This is sort of like when George Will writes a column that just summarizes someone else's book. The columnists' job is to write a couple of columns each week, whether or not they have anything to say that week.

I think the column sounds pretty sophomoric but you make the columnist's job sound much easier than it may be.

I write 2 350 word blog posts, a 450 word newsletter each month. I am supposed to write 2 250 word KC Boxbottom adventures for a magazine, though I have been lax of late. I am on hiatus for a month or two but I also write 2 750 word columns for an online magazine. I used to write a 500 word monthly column for a print magazine for about 6 years.

I also write the occasional article and/or white paper for online and print magazines.

Generally these are on the subject of manufacturing, packaging, packaging machinery and the like.

Writing all this is pretty simple and fast. First draft usually 20-30 minutes, age for a day then 30-60 minutes rewriting and polishing.

My big problem is coming up with interesting ideas. That is really, really, hard. I keep a list of ideas in Evernote and probably have 100-150 ideas in the list. Even with that list It'll sometimes take me an hour or more deciding on a topic. Not just the topic but what I can say fresh and interesting about it.

So, Parker's article is not particularly good but I'll cut her some slack. Coming up with ideas and writing on deadline can be tough.

John Henry

mockturtle said...

We read Plato's Republic in high school. Is is no longer on the reading list? Of course, the Greek philosophers are overrated and Mel Brooks summed it up nicely. The Germans probably produced the best but are more poorly represented in our curricula.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger Char Char Binks said...

Trump went to two rich-boy schools, then, through his daddy's money and influence, went to Fordham, then Wharton,

Evidence? Looking at his HS yearbook last year he seemed to do very well. Lots of sports, lots of activities, good to excellent grades. Pretty much what any high end school looks for. Why would he have needed his father's influence to get into Fordham. And what influence did dad have with Fordham anyway? Was he a donor? Alumni?

He seems to have done well at Fordham which would get him into Wharton on his own. Again, what influence did the father have at Wharton?

So are you just making stuff up again, Char-Char?

Plenty of mud you can sling about Trump without the need to fantasize.

Don't worry, his gaffes will catch up with him and his popularity will fall off a cliff. Cruz or Kasich will win all the rest of the states and will beat him out as nominee.

John Henry

Quaestor said...

The word is "prosopopoeia"

I'm not sure this applies to Kathleen Parker's column. Her "Plato would be horrified" is nothing more than an oblique form of the argument from authority, which is fallacious when an authority is cited on a topic outside his area of expertise, such as Plato on 21h century American politics.

ken in tx said...

Plato's name was not Plato. His name was Aristocles. Plato was a nickname based on his height. He was short and flat, like a plateau, or plate. The name Plato was the ancient Greek version of Shorty. He probably had short-man's disease--over aggressive desire to prove his manhood.

David said...

μαλακίες

Greek for bullshit.

No I can't pronounce it. Looked it up on the internet so surely it's right.

tim in vermont said...

"But what should be plain to everyone else is that the study of rhetoric is essential to an educated populace"

Forget the rest of the column, this one sentence is true. It "should" be plain, but it's not. People love to fall for rhetoric without understanding it. This is one reason I have never regretted my literature degree. It is all about creating a narrative now. It would be nice if it were plain to everybody what is being done to us in the name of seeking personal power.

Char Char Binks said...

@Puerto

According to Salon, Trump transferred Wharton partly because his brother’s friend was on the admissions committee. That qualifies as his daddy's influence in my book. The following links bring in to question Trump's inflated assessment of his own brain power, despite his having "the best words". There are plenty more where these came from.

www.thedailybeast.com/.../trump-won-t-prove-he-was-a-...

www.thedp.com/article/2015/08/donald-trump-wharton-classmates

www.americanthinker.com/.../what_does_donald_tru...


My larger point is that Silver Spoon Boy's academic achievements are as paltry as his business achievements, if you consider where he started. I'm more impressed with a working-class kid who gets an associates degree than with a born-wealthy kid who gets a bachelor's degree, even an Ivy bachelor's. I'm also more impressed with someone like Ted Turner who turned a successful business into a world-leader, than with someone who got a "small loan of a million dollars" from his daddy, inherited about $400M, and managed to only file for bankruptcy protection four times. Trump would be richer than he is if he'd simply invested his inheritance in an S&P index mutual fund.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

tim in vermont said...Forget the rest of the column, this one sentence is true. It "should" be plain, but it's not

Whoa whoa whoa, slow down. Rhetoric, like the Greeks taught? Rhetoric, the staple of western (white!) cultural education for a few centuries? No, no, no, that won't do! We can't teach something like that, something dead white slaveholders loved and taught--besides which our kids are too busy in various -studies programs to have time to squeeze in a course on rhetoric or logic or anything like that.

Char Char Binks said...

And Trump has probably "written" more books than he has read since he graduated.

mockturtle said...

Woodrow Wilson was a scholar. Did that make him an effective president? I happen to think not.

John Henry said...

So what books did you read last week, Char-Char?

Or last month? Or the last year?

Not a rhetorical question, I'd be interested to hear.

You have never struck me as much of a book reader yourself.

And do you have knowledge of Trump's reading habits? Or is this more fantasizing?

John Henry

Freeman Hunt said...

We read Plato's Republic in high school. Is is no longer on the reading list?

No. It was off twenty years ago when I was in high school and did an independent study on it.

buwaya said...

Hmm -
Donald Trump himself didn't inherit $400M, this was Fred Trump's estate, (Wiki says $250-300M) approximately, and was split among the three siblings.

And his father died in 1999, the inheritance being settled after, AFAIK. So Donald was in the billions long before, much wealthier than dad before any inheritance. And also, the bulk of what Donald got from Fred was what Fred staked Donald at one point or another, presumably far less than what Fred left in his estate.

I have seen this attack in many forms, but above all others it is both the most ignorant (easily disprovable), or the most disingenuous. There are many reasons to, and angles from which, to attack Trump, but this one seems particularly weak.

Char Char Binks said...

@John Henry

I never claimed to be a towering intellect who got the best marks and has the best words. I've also never claimed authorship of any ghostwritten books, with or without my name in the title. I haven't read any of Trump's books, just like Trump, no doubt.

@buwaya

Trump inherited as little as $250M? The poor dear!

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Hitchens woulda called it "(insert withering adjective here) ventriloquism."

buwaya said...

"Trump inherited as little as $250M? The poor dear!"

Worse, it was just 1/3 of $250M, and only @25 years AFTER Donald T went into business for himself and was much richer than that already when he did get it. Talk about gilding the lily, talk about the rich getting (slightly) richer, it all seems a bit redundant, a bit superfluous.

Donald T didn't need that money, it should have gone to someone with a greater need - like me.

eddie willers said...

Greek philosophers bemoaned that they were conquered by a race of plumbers. [Rome]

Proving once again that those that can, do and those who can't, teach.

(I have no idea how that sentence should properly be constructed)

zefal said...

Aristotle would be gobsmacked by the clintons' 40 years of plundering.

Nichevo said...
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Nichevo said...
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Saint Croix said...

Suggested Book Ideas for Children:

Plato Saw a Bad Word on the Internet

Char Char Binks said...

And another thing, I refuse to count only what Donald got after his father died as his inheritance. Everything he ever had was handed to him.

Jeff said...

As I dimly recall, the Straussian interpretation of Plato's Republic is that Plato establishes that justice requires that a philosopher should rule, but also that no good philosopher wants to. So the establishment of a truly just state requires an unjust act at it's founding, forcing someone to be the philosopher king. The contradiction is a way of showing that perfect justice is impossible.