August 4, 2019

"For Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump, religion is all about themselves/The conviction that you can shape the world with your mind is an American tradition."

By Tara Isabella Burton (in WaPo). This is a fantastic article, full of detail and useful connections spanning American history. Excerpt:
But Williamson has more in common with President Trump than she — and indeed many voters — might admit, and it’s not just that both have used personal celebrity as a springboard into politics. At their core, both are also prime representatives of one of the most important and formative spiritual trends in American life: the notion that we can transform our material circumstances through faith in our personal willpower. Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality and Williamson’s woo-inflected belief in the power of “self-actualization” both come from the quintessentially American conviction that the quickest and surest route to Ultimate Reality can be found within ourselves....

Trump... has spoken openly about his family’s long and close relationship with Norman Vincent Peale, a 20th-century writer well-known for his best-selling 1952 book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” While Peale was formally a Christian — he was the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York for more than 50 years — his writings were suffused with the idea that you can transmute and augment yourself through sheer mental exertion. “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding,” he wrote. “Never permit it to fade.” By thinking it, his readers would make it true....

Waves of what you might call “intuitional religion” have been washing across the American religious landscape since the First Great Awakening of the 18th century... New Thought, which flourished in the mid-1800s, was heavily shaped by the Transcendentalist philosophers of the previous generation, writers like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed that the human self was the closest thing we have to a reflection of the divine. For these thinkers, organized religion — indeed, every mainstream institution — inhibited people from trusting their divinely sanctioned intuition, which they saw as the most direct path to truth....

New Thought took this Transcendentalist trust in the self and commercialized it.... Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Americans scooped up dozens of titles promoting the New Thought ethos: If you feel it, it will come true. There was Charles Benjamin Newcomb’s 1897 “All’s Right With the World,” which instructed readers not to wish for betterment but to summon it through force of will. (“I am well.” “I am opulent.” “I have everything.” I do right.” “I know.”) There was William Walter Atkinson’s 1901 “Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life.” (“Anything is yours, if you only want it hard enough. Just think of it. ANYTHING. Try it. Try it in earnest and you will succeed. It is the operation of a mighty Law.”) Capitalists like Napoleon Hill advised readers to “Think and Grow Rich” (1937). And Christians, including Quimby’s onetime patient Mary Baker Eddy, sought to blend that faith with New Thought practice, as Eddy did in establishing Christian Science.

The “mind cure” was sufficiently popular that psychologist William James meditated on its ubiquity in American households. “One hears of the ‘Gospel of Relaxation,’ of the ‘Don’t Worry Movement,’” he writes in one of the lectures in his 1902 collection, “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” “of people who repeat to themselves, ‘Youth, health, vigor!’ when dressing in the morning, as their motto for the day.”

Peale was also a product of the New Thought tradition.... The idea that one should adopt a magnified view of one’s talents and accomplishments, and that reality will reconfigure itself to match that heightened image, may help explain some of the otherwise confounding falsehoods that Trump retells continually....

To those encountering Williamson for the first time in this campaign, she comes across as a conventional New Age type — an eccentric aunt purveying essential oils... But there’s a much more specific tradition she emerges from, which is typified by this darker comment in “The Law of Divine Compensation”: “Many people fail to manifest money because on some deep level they don’t think they should.” She has also argued that depression should be considered “a spiritual disease,” rather than “medicalized” and treated with anti-depressants. (When challenged, she said anti-depressants were justified in some cases.) And she’s suggested that people who are overweight may suffer from a deficit of “spiritual intelligence.”...

On the surface, Americans are more religiously divided than ever.... But many Americans of almost every political and spiritual affiliation share the inheritance of New Thought ideology: a distrust of institutions and experts, a reliance on personal intuition and feeling, and a conviction that “self-actualization” will lead inexorably to a bigger house, a better job, a banging body....
Oh, my lord, we are so weird, we Americans! Who among us is not caught up in this spirituality? Some of it is good, some of it is okay, and some of it is godawful delusion and corruption. What would America be without it? And if you think you should escape from it, what's a good escape route? A really traditional religion, stuck to adamantly? A staunch cynicism that excludes anything with a whiff of spirituality? What if it's in our lifeblood? What if America would be unrecognizable without it? What if we can't do politics without it?

149 comments:

Seeing Red said...

Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality

They just can’t help themselves.

Seeing Red said...

If you feel it, it will come true.

“My truth.”

Sounds like the millennials anbsirbed their lessons well.

Ann Althouse said...

Please read the article (or at least these excerpts). This is an extremely important topic. Let's not get hung up on the fact that WaPo is biased against Trump. Please engage with the topic of this particular kind of religion in politics.

The author of this article Tara Isabella Burton, has a book “Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World." Please think about this topic and discuss it seriously.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality.

eh - I'm done.

How is he authoritarian exactly? His former TV show was a springboard for giving and chairty.
Oh right- I forgot, Trump beat Hillary, and that is illegal and Russian in the eyes of the eternally righteous butthurt.

Paco Wové said...

What would a non-authoritarian cult of personality look like?

Birkel said...

I await the return of The Crack Emcee.

alanc709 said...

Typical WaPoo article, I, too, quit at "Trump's authoritarian cult of personality". What type of personality cult did Obama's pen and phone have?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I don't need to read crap D-party hack-house-rag to understand that Williamson and Trump should be on the same team.
They should!

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

This belief in the self also means that neither one lets other people define them. It's a +1 level of self-confidence that most people can't reach.

Hagar said...

It strikes me that Trump is more like a "barefoot boy with cheek" than a "figure of authority."

Tom Sawyer rather than William Howard Taft.

Rob said...

Norman Vincent Peale wrote, “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Never permit it to fade.” It’s indelible on the hippocampus!

Adlai Stevenson was once asked for his opinion on Norman Vincent Peale. He replied, “I find Paul appealing and Peale appalling.”

Unknown said...

Read the while thing, and it is a sad reflection of progressivism. 'We can fix ourselves' is a flat out lie. 'The heart is desperately wicked' is a truth as old as time. People are inherently selfish, and that's why this approach appeals.

When people run the government, other people need protection -- that's why we have a 'Bill of Rights.' As long as politicians think they can fix things without considering human nature we will continue to have this approaching train wreck.

Seeing Red said...

I read your excerpts.

What do you want to discuss? Why there’s no faith in institutions or experts anymore? Do you want to know why? look in the mirror .

there is a theory out there that your generation couldn’t live up to their parents the greatest generation so they had to tear everything down and now you wonder why things are like this ?

The “experts” haven’t done so well lately, either.

Or is this just another way to say American exceptionalism?

Chicago made the river run backwards. America put the man on the moon. An African-American man gave us the modern whisk.

The author is visualizing her truth that Trump supporters are in a cult.

That’s why we can’t talk about anything, much less important things.

The short of it is keep importing the olde world mentality and that’s what you will get, you cant’t you can’t you can’t.

There was a blogger, Steven DenBeste who wrote some fabulous things before he passed.

There are Americans by birth and Americans by heart, and those are the ones we want to let in.

rhhardin said...

Tocqueville: "[The Americans] have all a lively faith in the perfectibility of man, they judge that the diffusion of knowledge must necessarily be advantageous, and the consequences of ignorance fatal; they all consider society as a body in a state of improvement, humanity as a changing scene, in which nothign is, or ought to be, permanent; and they admit that what appears to them today to be good, may be superseded by something better tomorrow."

The question is whether science and progress is taken as given (institutionalizeable) or as itself part of what the public debate ought to be about.

Dewey vs Emerson.

Moralism vs morality.

"For an Emersonian, the Deweyan is apt to seem like an enlightened child, toying with the means of destruction, stinting the means of instruction, of provoking the self to work; for a Deweyan, an Emersonian is apt look, at best like a Deweyan." - Cavell _Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome: The Constitution of Emersonian Perfectionism p.15-16

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

The first sentence is a turnoff; sorry.

No one, and I mean no one, has the authority to declare what goes on inside someone else’s head. If someone has the temerity to do that I ironically that person automatically tanks my ability to take him

“Althouse’s blogging is all about herself”

“Althouse’s blogging is all about promoting Donald Trump”

“Althouse’s blogging is all about ... “

You wouldn’t give that the time of day now would you?

Especially from someone who has a book to sell with the same thesis and thus for commercial or human-failing reasons cannot see things through any other glasses.

Paco Wové said...

"What if America would be unrecognizable without it?"

America would be unrecognizable without it. This sort of "I can do it" optimism in the face of all odds – or reality itself – defines American culture. It fuels the willingness to reach for things previously unattainable, and allows us to disregard the likelihood of failure. It's what makes Old World western cultures look sour, pessimistic, and static by comparison.

I'm Full of Soup said...

No thanks Althouse. I was stopped by the word authoritarian too. Obama used an illegal EO to give amnesty to 1 million illegals yet he was never called authoritarian by WAPO.

mccullough said...

This is a high school sophomore exposition.

She’s cramming divergent strains into her thesis. Might as well just say that America is and has been a fairly individualistic culture. Her boss, Jeff Bezos, exemplifies this better than anyone.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

*unironically and take him or her seriously

Sorry, thumb typing on iPhone while ostensibly getting ready for church

Bob Boyd said...

What if it's in our lifeblood? What if America would be unrecognizable without it? What if we can't do politics without it?

You sound somewhat horrified. I guess I don't see the problem.

John henry said...

How are norman Vincent peale's teachings not Christian?

The power of positive thinking is perfectly aligned with Jesus teachings.

I say that as one familiar and supportive of both.

John Henry

Michael K said...

may help explain some of the otherwise confounding falsehoods that Trump retells continually....

They never seem to list them. This just more Orange Man Bad with some history of previous self help writing. With Americans, it often helps. It was educational when I visited Ireland many years ago. They were not that friendly and seemed not to be interested in American Irish coming to seek their "roots." An Irish friend explained it to me one time.

"They know the cream left." America, in the 19th and early 20th century, was settled by those who had enough courage and independence to leave. They were also the ones to read the Norman Vincent Peale book and use it to make something of themselves.

Democrats like Stevenson have a hard time with those people.

John henry said...

I also don't think we know much about PDJT's religious views if any.

And that's as should be
See What Jesus had to say in Matthew 6

John Henry

daskol said...

There was a related and interesting article on Trump’s chaos magick and former Blondie bassist Gary Lachman’s book on New Thought and the esoteric in America. MW and PDJT share a common spiritual inheritance. So does Oprah, who I thought a few years ago was the obvious yin to Trump’s yang for this political era. I mean as Americans we all share this spiritual inheritance but these three are of the same school of magick. Doesn’t help you to you forswear the esoteric if the esoteric is the zeitgeist.

Michael K said...

there is a theory out there that your generation couldn’t live up to their parents the greatest generation so they had to tear everything down and now you wonder why things are like this ?

Pretty good analysis.

Bay Area Guy said...

To gain political traction in this campaign, MW must deploy her gnostic talent for self-actualization against Liz Warren.

John henry said...

And no, I am not going to read the article. I figure you generally cherry pick the best parts. If this is the best, I shudder to think what the article is like.

John Henry

mccullough said...

Marianne taps into the same vein as Oprah.

Men are immune to this line of bullshit

Michael said...

I read the article, a B- for half assed scholarship conflating self help 19 th century enthusiasms with New Age chill and the power of positive thinking. The idea of the ability of the mind to change behaviors and, possibly, outcomes is as old as Seneca and Epictetus and Aurelius.

Seeing Red said...

We are the original rogue nation.

The world is still trying to bring us under control.

You’re the one who voted for Mr. Negative Rights, we are no better or worse than any other country.

And the vile progs and their mouthpieces constantly and consistently other and deplatform Trump and as many voices as they can.

Just maybe the “cult of personality” they’re trying to squelch is Trump just being an American. Bold brash fun loving hardworking vulgar and uniquely ours.

The elites were always more concerned with What old European thanks and they have no problems living in an old world mentality where they’re on top and everyone else are serfs. Look at California and Illinois.

EDH said...

At their core, both are also prime representatives of one of the most important and formative spiritual trends in American life: the notion that we can transform our material circumstances through faith in our personal willpower... both come from the quintessentially American conviction that the quickest and surest route to Ultimate Reality can be found within ourselves....

Isn't this Trump and Williamson taking Hegel's side in the old Marx turned Hegel on his head argument, whereas most of the Democrats taking Marx's side?

Marx, "stood Hegel on his head," in his own view of his role, by turning the idealistic dialectic into a materialistic one, in proposing that material circumstances shape ideas, instead of the other way around. In this, Marx was following the lead of Feuerbach. His theory of alienation, developed in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (published in 1932), inspired itself from Feuerbach's critique of the alienation of Man in God through the objectivation of all his inherent characteristics (thus man projected on God all qualities which are in fact man's own quality which defines the "human nature").

But Marx also criticized Feuerbach for being insufficiently materialistic, as Stirner himself had pointed out, and explained that the alienation described by the Young Hegelians was in fact the result of the structure of the economy itself. Furthermore, he criticized Feuerbach's conception of human nature in his sixth thesis on Feuerbach as an abstract "kind" which incarnated itself in each singular individual: "Feuerbach resolves the essence of religion into the essence of man (menschliche Wesen, human nature). But the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In reality, it is the ensemble of the social relations."

Paco Wové said...

Trump and Williamson are both silent rebukes to the swamp creatures pretending to be Competent Technocrats Who Deserve To Rule Us All, because they are reminders that the cursus honorum and the whole infrastructure of "experts" is unnecessary and, when you come to think of it, harmful.

Some days, I get the distinct feeling that the upper classes of this country really want to get to that Old World state of affairs, where the peasantry are properly obsequious and the "experts" right to rule is unquestioned.

Sally327 said...

It's perfectly fine to think positive, empowering, life-changing thoughts, as long as it's accompanied by some kind of effort, or the recognition that effort is most likely required, which is partly the point here I guess, the idea that thinking alone is enough, I saw it in my mind and it happened.

Which is kind of a variation of the belief in prayer, the power of prayer, but more like Janis Joplin singing "Lord Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz", something I need or want, or just change so my life will seem better, except I don't need to send the prayers up to God and wait for his answer, I am The Answer.

Seeing Red said...

Olde Europe thinks

daskol said...

Scott Adams, whose hypnosis orientation is a rather literal example of the mind over matter tradition, first labeled Trump a master wizard before switching to the less explicitly occult master persuader.

Paco Wové said...

Was Obama's cult of personality the good, non-authoritarian, kind?

Mattman26 said...

I kind of like the sound of “woo-inflected.” Anyone know what it means?

chuck said...

At "Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality", I started laughing. Fantastic article, my ass. Did she mention Solzhenitsyn's thoughts on the matter? Solzhenitsyn is now considered a reactionary fanatic who thought the USSR was bad for murdering all those people, but even so he also talked about the power of mind to alter lived material reality, not the other way round as Marx would have it. It is somewhere in the Gulag Archipelago. Scott Adams would agree. I would also mention the good behavior of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the concentration camps documented by Bettelheim.

◆ Following is an excerpt from a book published in 1960, called “The Informed Heart: Autonomy in a Mass Age,” by Vienna-born psychoanalyst Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, who was imprisoned in the Buchenwald and Dachau Nazi concentration camps during 1938 and 1939 and who is now director of the Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago: “Similar behaviour characterised another group which, according to psychoanalytic theory, would have had to be viewed as extremely neurotic or plainly delusional, and therefore apt to fall apart, as persons, under stress. I refer to the J. W’s [Jehovah’s witnesses], who not only showed unusual heights of human dignity and moral behaviour, but seemed protected against the same camp experience that soon destroyed persons considered very well integrated by my psychoanalytic friends and myself.”

“As conscientious objectors, all Jehovah’s Witnesses were sent to the Camps. They were even less affected by imprisonment, and kept their integrity, thanks to rigid religious beliefs. Since their only crime in the eyes of the Nazis was a refusal to bear arms, they were frequently offered freedom in return for military service. They steadfastly refused. Members of this group were . . . exemplary comrades, helpful, correct, and dependable. They were argumentative . . . only when someone questioned their religious beliefs. Because of their conscientious work habits they were often selected as foremen. But once a foreman, and having accepted an order from the S.S. they insisted that prisoners do the work well and in the time allotted. Even though they were the only group of prisoners who never abused or mistreated other prisoners, S.S. officers preferred them as orderlies because of their work habits, skills or unassuming attitudes. Quite in contrast to the continuous warfare among the other prisoners groups, the Jehovah’s Witnesses never misused their closeness to the S.S. officers to gain positions of privilege in the camp.”

Seeing Red said...

After Marianne’s really stupid comment yesterday I’m not giving her the time of day.

I’d ban all bullets. Someone should’ve asked her does that mean if you become president your secret service won’t use any either?

I didn’t watch Oprah for a reason not falling for that crap.

Wilbur said...

AA: I'm genuinely interested in why you think "This is an extremely important topic."

narciso said...

I wouldn't train my dog on the Bezos post, he might get a rash.

narciso said...

Trump is about the nation, Williamson is about her own hangups, where do they find these people?

Kelly said...

Since I’m in a cult I have to check with my authoritarian leader before I can comment.

narciso said...

Well its first order category error, Williamson wants reparations return carbon back to the earth (the avengers films arent reaL, there are no infinity stones) now is norman Vincent Peele a more diluted christianity, probably, but Williamson definitely falls into the category of false prophet.

Seeing Red said...

The author of this article Tara Isabella Burton, has a book “Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World." Please think about this topic and discuss it seriously.


New religions or old quackery? Or old religions? A previous head of The Church of England had a fondness for Druids.

daskol said...

Oprah, MW and Trump are successful pioneers and entrepreneurs of celebrity. They’ve been remarkably creative in turning celebrity into wealth and power. To those who believe in more rigidly defined paths to success it seems like magic or magick, which I prefer for its imputations of an extra helping of esotericity. Adams, with his persuasion/hypnosis angle is part demystifier and part magician himself. This also puts me in mind of the gulf in neuroscience between the mysterians and Damasio’s ilk who think we’ll figure out consciousness in a laboratory one day.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

AA: Please read the article (or at least these excerpts). This is an extremely important topic.

I did read the your excerpts.

But telling me it's "fantastic" is not going to persuade me to click over to a writer who uses the woo-inflected phrase "Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality". This tells me "this is a silly writer", and "extremely important topics" deserve better.

daskol said...

It’s also Kim and Kanye, of the PDJT/Oprah/MW school of celebrity magick vs Jay Z/Be who are doing their thing the old-fashioned non-magickal way.

Bob Boyd said...

From a political perspective, this piece is just a way to attack Trump and Williamson, both troublesome to The Party, at the same time. You could write an article arguing any two people have certain things in common, if that was your goal. In reality, Trump and Williamson are not essentially the same, not even close.
The whole concept the author purports to explore is founded upon the anti-democratic notion, so beloved to Progs, that ordinary folks are ingnorant, foolish, backward, superstitious, gullible, incapable of intelligent decisions, and in desperate need of a firm, guiding hand from those with elite credentials.
This kind of article sparks a thrill of excitement and anxiety in the control freak personality. It's control freak porn.

Roy Lofquist said...

Authoritarian? I should certainly hope so. The buck stops here. I am the decider. "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." (II.1.).

It's in the job description. He's solely responsible for the conduct of the Executive Branch. He's responsible for relations with foreign countries. He's Commander in Chief.

We've had pussies in the office. It didn't turn out well.

Amadeus 48 said...

I enjoyed reading the article and seeing what threads she pulled together. I was raised in a transcendental Christian tradition and a lot of the attitudes she writes about are certainly out there in the world.

What did I take from my religion? Here are a few things:
1. The Golden Rule is a good model for going forward in life.
2. Many of the dilemmas that we face in life have archetypes in the Bible, where solutions are offered.
3. The thoughts we hold dearest shape our perception of the world.
4. Look for the divine spark in everyone, and embrace our common humanity. But sin is punished as long as sin lasts.
5. Jesus, the son of God, showed us the way to a more complete spiritual life.

The essence of the American spirit is that we as individuals can progress spiritually, morally, and materially if our thoughts are not unduly constrained by authorities, dogmas, powers or principalities.

Kay said...

I think America’s greatest religion is America, and all of us practice it in one way or another. Even those of us who dislike America.

MikeR said...

Trump and Williamson could easily be on the same side. Andrew Yang too. If the last two would just stop with the silly trash talk, they might notice that Trump is a lot closer to what they want to do than any of the other candidates. And shift their approach, subtly and suddenly.
The mind controls the reality.

traditionalguy said...

So we have our own Napoleon. He beats the Terror murdering everybody. And Bonaparte never hurt us. The Brits tried to exterminate us.

rcocean said...

Yes, the "power of positive thinking" and odd religions like "Christian Science" have always been with it. However, it'd be fair to say Religion - odd or not- has never been weaker or had less influence.

BTW, the new Religious trend with the Liberal Bourgeois is Buddhism and "Mediation".
That's the OK elite "light-weight Religion". Williamson and Norman Vincent Peale are the "unfashionable" lightweight religions.

Otto said...

This is all a con game aided and abetted by the WP and Ann. We are to believe that we vote based on cult and spiritualism. Total BS. We vote based on policies.
Again Ann peddling weird associated with Trump.
Note Ann for being a supposed scholar never broaches subjects like immigration, taxes, tariffs and the like but she wants you to think that Trump is an authoritative weirdo -steering you to Hitler but she doesn't have the gumption to say that outright. Remember she is an old old old liberal and voted for Stein.

daskol said...

I wonder if Joel Osteen will ever seek office. This Dem primary may be the last electoral contest for our highest office that is primarily waged by politician combatants. Magicians and wizards are better at this game than politicians.

daskol said...

rcocean don’t confuse the decline of traditional religious organizations with the decline of religion, which is within us and takes on other expression and manifestations, which is in fact the topic at hand: the contemporary manifestation of our religious spirit.

rcocean said...

Our Presidents in the 20th century were surprisingly nonreligious or followed odd-ball sects. Nixon and Hoover were Quakers. Taft was a Unitarian. TR and FDR believed in Christian Morality but its hard to see any evidence of Christian Faith. And Ike wasn't a christian, he was a Golfer. As for JFK/LBJ being Christians, give me a break.

rcocean said...

"don’t confuse the decline of traditional religious organizations with the decline of religion, "

You can measure organized religion. The impact of Personal Religion is a matter of faith.

daskol said...

I’ll take MW/PDJT magickal individualism over the collective misery of eco-doomsdayism.

rcocean said...

IF you're being "influenced" by Althouse maybe you need to toughen up.

Sebastian said...

As noted in a previous thread, Harold Bloom covered this in The American Religion. Which Althouse might like, since she considers this derivative article "fantastic."

Williamson definitely fits. I am less sure about Trump.

For example, I do not think he shares “the quintessentially American conviction that the quickest and surest route to Ultimate Reality can be found within ourselves.”

Also, “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding” is an inference from the basic Gnostic axiom, but agreeing with the inference does not require accepting the axiom.

"Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality"? I call BS: there's nothing "authoritarian" about it, nor does anyone submit to his "authority" on the basis of his personality, nor does such a cult, if it existed, follow from the Gnostic paradigm.

Insofar as he has any coherent ideology, Trump is about Making American Great Again, drawing on the other American religion, the civil religion of "America."

The person who can best synthesize the two, my early pick for the 2020 win, is Oprah. There's still time . . .

daskol said...

But it’s not personal religion: it’s all very public. It’s eco-doomsdayism requiring coercive collective action on a massive scale vs. American prosperity gospel optimism in various flavors we are discussing.

Fernandistein said...

One measured spirituality using self-reported experiences of being connected to something larger than oneself.

So that jr-high-school bully was a spirit?

John henry said...

Trad guy,

Napoleon may have beaten the Terror but he also killed millions in his 15 years or so of war.

Many more time more French died in the invasion of Russia than in the terror.

If you want authoritarian, read the Napoleonic Code he imposed on France.

Given the choice I'll take The Terror.

Certainly don't defend or want either.

John Henry

Fernandistein said...

"The materialist insists on facts, on history, on the force of circumstances, and the animal wants of man; the idealist on the power of Thought and of Will, on inspiration, on miracle, on individual culture.

These two modes of thinking are both natural, but the idealist contends that his way of thinking is in higher nature." -- Idealist Ralph Waldo Emerson

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Let's not get hung up on the fact that WaPo is biased against Trump.

Nobody's hung up on the "bias" here. Everybody and every publication is biased. "Bias" and "imbecilic propaganda" are not the same thing. The WaPo can't publish an article without the interjection of the latter, and this, naturally, puts people off.

You can say that refusing to read around crass propaganda shows a want of the capacity for adult, disinterested analysis, and you could be correct about that, in some instances. (In this instance the "extremely important topic" does not require the input of propagandists when intelligent observers have been discussing it since Tocqueville.) But you'd have to apply that criticism to yourself - you don't touch topics if broached by writers and publications you consider "trashy", either. The difference here is a matter of perception: you are seeing regrettable but inevitable bias in "serious", prestige publications that merit being taken seriously by serious people; others see crude propaganda that seems to be getting nuttier by the day.

Marc said...

'Who among us is not caught up in this spirituality?"

Because I don't want to get involved in a conversation about religion at the moment, being on my way out to Holy Mass, I'll simply state, I am not caught up in that nonsense.

Owen said...

I think of the frontier
The receding horizon
First the ocean
Then the land ever westward
Who was needy enough
To pursue it
Only the losers
Who still had hope
That same old dope
To which we all turn

America you are
A nation of hucksters
Succeeding at the first and hardest task
Of fooling yourselves
You keep doing it
In a million failed pyramid schemes
And crooked franchises
And the rare essential win
First in flight
Pointe du Hoc
Men on the moon
Rural electricity
Too many cars
The poorest of us
Expecting 5G

Huisache said...

I think Marianne and Trump are totally the same in some ways, perfect complements in others. I'd love to see them debate.

I see the connection the author is talking about. One of the low points of my childhood was when my mother insisted that we all sit around the table while she read The Power of Positive Thinking to us. Still makes want to vomit. It just gets you stuck in this subjective, neurotic, obsessive headspace.

When I was 18, though, I personally fell into something even worse: this freaky little charismatic-type sect. Headspace religion augmented by mass hysteria and bibliomancy. Prosperity gospel was part of it. The things I saw people do because God (i.e., their feelings) told them to. At the the most out-there point I took part in a spiritual duel with Hare Krishnas in the back streets of Saltillo, Mexico.

Then I quit it all. In reaction I got a Ph.D. in math specializing in theoretical physics. I used to be angry but now I'm just fascinated by all facets of American DIY religion. I keep a collection of "eccentric" religious literature (pamphlets and such). I live in small-town Texas so I find plenty.

Still, although I laughed my head off when I first heard Williamson speak in the June debate, I have to admit that I've come to find her charming and captivating. I hope she wins the primary. A Trump v. Williamson contest is the election America deserves.

Shouting Thomas said...

The stronger tradition in American religion is Calvinism, the belief that leading a moral, industrious life will lead to a good and prosperous future for you and your children.

This philosophy has been marvelously successful in enriching the lives of the Nordic and Germanic societies.

My father was Methodist, my mother Catholic.

So, I got an equal dose of Calvinism and Catholic fatalism and mysticism.

I”m pretty happy with that.

Fernandistein said...

The wife of transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau went into labor in the middle of the night in her shed at Walden Pond, so Hank "sent for" the doctor.

The doctor handed Thoreau a lantern and told him, "Here, hold this up high so I can see what I’m doing!"

Soon a baby boy was born.

"Hullo there!" said the doctor, "don't put the lantern down yet, I think there's another wee one coming!" (The doctor was a hick.)

Soon the doctor had delivered another healthy baby boy, and Thoreau sighed and started to put the lantern down.

"No! Don't put it down yet, there’s another one in there!" the doctor yelled in amazement.

Thoreau scratched his head, confused and wishing now that he had paid for his Harvard diploma, and he asked the doctor, "Do you think they're going into the light?"

readering said...

Folks here are gagging on cult of personality but what do they make of the focus on large rallies and replacing press secretary conferences with tweets?

readering said...

And statements that there are no limits to Article 2 powers.

Owen said...

Huisache: “...At the the most out-there point I took part in a spiritual duel with Hare Krishnas in the back streets of Saltillo, Mexico.”

Damn! I would pay good money to see (or read of) that event!

Narr said...

I don't think there's (yet!) an authoritarian cult of personality around Trump, but it is certainly latent in many of his followers. That's not necessarily a jab at Trump, just a reflection on American politics as a religion-substitute, or maybe a form of spirituality
in itself.

For myself, I distrust all forms of religious, spiritual, and political enthusiasm; the possibility that I would vote for MW (of whom I know NOTHING but what has been posted and discussed here) is nil.

Narr
Carefully hoarding my 1/153,000,000 of a decision


Fernandistein said...

Please engage with the topic of this particular kind of religion in politics.

One theory is that the US is more religious than similar European countries because the US had free-market religions and Europe mostly had state-sponsored religions; flexibility vs stasis.

daskol said...

The decline of conventional press conferences full of pomposity and suavely delivered bullshit is a good thing. Trump’s speech, whether tweeted or delivered over the cacophony of a helicopter may be full of “truthful hyperbole” but it’s authentic expression and it’s stripped down and represents a far higher level of accessibility than prior leaders allowed.

Shouting Thomas said...

Trump and Williamson have both achieved remarkable success, so there’s that.

I admire Trump’s dogged optimism, although I know virtually nothing about Peale’s philosophy.

Politics doesn’t have much to do with my practice of Christianity. My focus is on how I structure my day to day life, how I achieve peace of mind and quiet, and I draw on the incredibly depth of the artistic tradition (particularly of Catholicism) in my work.

I don’t think Americans are weird in their religious beliefs.

I think embracing Marxist feminism is very weird. That’s a demonic religion.

daskol said...

The rallies represent the return of entertainment to the forefront of politics. It’s the Trump movement’s marches and rallies, the “anti” and angrier entertainment offered by the dismal party of eco-doomsday is.

Shouting Thomas said...

Trump’s administration has been incredibly successful.

So, what’s the dilemma we’re discussing?

daskol said...

Quick, what’s creepier: thousands gathered to hear Trump, or thousands gathered at an Extinction Rebellion march led by a demented teenager?

Owen said...

“...delivered over the cacophony of a helicopter...”. Evocative.

If I were Trump I would insist on the Helicopter Wall of Sound. Giant speakers projecting that whumpa-whumpa of urgent energy. No time for a full answer, didn’t really hear the question, must go now, thanks, good bye!

Francisco D said...

Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality ....

That line alone tells me that this author is full of shit. Trump probably has the least authority of any POTUS in my lifetime, thanks to the Deep State. It is just a Democrat talking point that their true believers accept unquestionably.

Some marketing person at the DNC/MSM thought Trump sorta looks like Mussolini, so that makes him what Communists have always called people to the right of them ... fascists

Marcus said...

Nope. Not going to do it. If you want me to read articles, offer some without such explicit bias in them. That sentence alone tells me it's not serious enough for my attention.

THEOLDMAN

Amadeus 48 said...

Obama killed the formal press conference. He wittered away for fifteen minutes on each of the four questions he took. The “press” corps (pronounced “core” for you Obamaites) never asked him tough questions. Boring and unwatchable.

Trump has a press availability every time he gets on the chopper, he answers all questions with pithy, quotable material, and then he flies off for the duties of the day.

Shouting Thomas said...

I think that you can achieve remarkable things by getting control of your mind and emotions. In fact, I did it.

I grew up in poverty and ignorance, and I struggled and fought my way out over the first 25 years of my life.

You know what made the difference? I finally escaped the defeatist mentality of my little rural Illinois home town, which goes something like this:

“You’re never going to get anywhere in this world because the rich have their foot on your neck and they’ll never let you up.”

I learned thru a long process of experimentation and errors that this was false, that I wasn’t perceiving reality correctly. Once I discarded these blinders, I saw that a world of almost limitless opportunity awaited me, if only I was smart and industrious.

John henry said...

No sects in Heaven

https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/no-sects-heaven

John Henry

Owen said...

Shouting Thomas. Awesome. Kudos to you and no less importantly your example is manna to many others.

Michael K said...

what do they make of the focus on large rallies and replacing press secretary conferences with tweets?

What do you make of Antifa mobs attacking people ? What do you make of James Hodgkinson, a Bernie bro who tried to kill the GOP Congress ? What do you make of Rand Paul's neighbor ? What do you make of the assassination porn on the left ?

Yancey Ward said...

My biggest character flaw is that I have often not had the confidence to act on my own behalf- in a nutshell, the fear of failing. I see the same flaw in pretty much everybody I know except for those people who are astoundingly successful- and the commonality I see in those successful people is that they failed a lot- I was even there watching them fail in their lives before finding success in many cases. If I could go back and tell myself one thing when I was 14 years old, it would be this- don't be afraid to fail, be afraid of not trying.

FrankiM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis Wetzel said...

"Trump’s authoritarian cult of personality and Williamson’s woo-inflected belief in the power of “self-actualization” both come from the quintessentially American conviction that the quickest and surest route to Ultimate Reality can be found within ourselves...."
This is a nonsense sentence. About half the words can be eliminated:
"Trump's cult and Williamson's belief come from the conviction that the route to Reality can be found within ourselves."
Still doesn't make sense.

readering said...

Whatabout

buwaya said...

This is supposed to be American?
What parochial nonsense.

rhhardin said...

If it looks like a duck it's a Quacker.

chuck said...

>“Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World."

I used to think about that a lot in high school, even wrote a short essay about it for freshman english when I got to college. That was in 1964. I think religion in the broad sense is a fundamental part of being human, it seems to have come in with the emergence of art and other things that distinguish us from our predecessors. The topic has been around for a long time. For religion in 20'th century politics, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and Mao are of course well known, hagiography and rites included. I recall Vera Brittain remarking on the odd spiritual quality of a Hitler rally that she attended. However, I don't think Trump embodies that authoritarian mode, so common on the Left. Rather, he is more a cheerleader and entertainer in his public aspect.

rhhardin said...

Her love may be the tennis term for zero. A form of nihilism.

Owen said...

Chuck: re authoritarianism. Yes. And by extension totalitarianism, which I take to be the extreme form of authoritarianism. Where one goes to jam charisma down the throats of the possible-believers or just the general population.

The difference between a Trump and a Stalin is in the end a sense of humor. Humor rests on humility, on some confidence about the self that does not demand that others concur, in fact it plays with the energy of collusion between its (ostensible) beliefs and those of its audience. I think Trump gets his fun (and electoral power) from his tongue-in-cheek, brash, self-delighting, look-at-me-kidding-you-but-not-really, sketches. He is very serious but thank God he is not literal.

Spirit, not text. Loosen up, people.

Owen said...

Collusion —> collision

Dammit

Drago said...

readering: "Folks here are gagging on cult of personality but what do they make of the focus on large rallies and replacing press secretary conferences with tweets?"

LOL

readering "forgot" to mention Trumps almost daily Q&A's with the democrat-opposition press.

readering "forgets" lots of things like that.

Trump has been the most directly accessible President in perhaps our entire history.

More things to "forget" for our History Began This Morning lefties.

Drago said...

readering summary: We must put a stop to Trump rallies and his twitter feed so that all info can be "properly vetted" thru the democrat/lefty/LLR-lefty filter!!

The People cannot be trusted!!

cubanbob said...

Please read the article (or at least these excerpts). This is an extremely important topic. Let's not get hung up on the fact that WaPo is biased against Trump. Please engage with the topic of this particular kind of religion in politics"

Why engage this particular kind of religion in politics as opposed to Marxist religious doctrines being exposed by every Democrat candidate? Is it because Trumpism is blasphemy to the Left?

Achilles said...

readering said...
And statements that there are no limits to Article 2 powers.

We all know who the authoritarians really are. You are an authoritarian readering.

You.

Let us look at all of the actions you supported:

Obama shipped pallets of cash to Iran without even INFORMING congress.

Obama used the FBI and CIA to spy on a political opponent.

Obama started at least 6 wars without a declaration of war.

Obama illegally granted legal status to millions of people through executive order.

Obama illegally sold guns to Mexican cartels.

Obama wanted to take away our guns.

This is an abbreviated list. There are many other freedoms you are trying to take from us.

Nichevo said...

Bob Boyd said...
From a political perspective, this piece is just a way to attack Trump and Williamson, both troublesome to The Party, at the same time.

Propaganda of a very high purity. This is a blatant attack on Williamson. Since she threatens whoever the D machine wishes to enthrone, they seek to tie her to the president and thus condemn her.

And you, a law professor, enthusiastically participate in the dissemination of the propaganda. It's not that I'm shocked or expect better, nothing surprises me more than a law professor involved with propaganda. Straight out of Animal Farm.


You could write an article arguing any two people have certain things in common, if that was your goal. In reality, Trump and Williamson are not essentially the same, not even close.
The whole concept the author purports to explore is founded upon the anti-democratic notion, so beloved to Progs, that ordinary folks are ingnorant, foolish, backward, superstitious, gullible, incapable of intelligent decisions, and in desperate need of a firm, guiding hand from those with elite credentials.

That's our gal in a contact lens case.

This kind of article sparks a thrill of excitement and anxiety in the control freak personality. It's control freak porn.

8/4/19, 9:51 AM

Which is why Althouse is jilling to it. If she rubs hard enough, she may achieve her first orgasm. She's so close!

Nichevo said...

Oh, and also, please stop lying on the professor. She did not vote for Jill Stein. She voted for Hillary Clinton. Inga binga banga bunga is the one who voted for Stein, so she said.

Drago said...

Trump directly answered more questions from the virulently oppositional media hacks in the first 6 months of his administration then the lefties "sort of a god" and "Lightbringer" obama did in 8 years.

Of course, it doesnt help when obambi filibusters and limits questions to about 8 -10 in over an hour. Trump answers 50 questions in the same time frame...and then Trump sticks around twice as long as the messiah-y obama.

But yeah, that Trump is such an authoritarian he will stand there for hours answering questions from the far left media!!

Achilles said...

readering said...

Whatabout

Thank you for summing up your arguments.

You and your movement are so engrossed in projecting your sins on us you are completely blind to the train coming down the tracks.

The masks are off. We see you for what you are.

Derek Kite said...

I'm amazed at the ignorance of journalists. Trump Sr and Donald were both in the real estate business. Sales Jobs are characterized by rejection. Successful sales people are ones that learn to deal with constant rejection and set up habits of mind to do so. Big ticket sales are all about rejection until you find one person who buys. Do these ignorant and over educated twits know anything about the real world?

Drago said...

Derek: "Do these ignorant and over educated twits know anything about the real world?"

No.

But they do have the right credentials and the right friends and they go to the right parties with the other right people and they all have the right thoughts and the right opinions and the right political party affiliations.

Who needs reality when you've got all that?

gadfly said...

What a bunch of bull from the pen of Tara Isabella Burton comparing Marianne with Donald. Intellectually they are not in the same universe and i don't think I have support that statement.

Elevating Trump's narcissistic personality disorder (described by Wiki as a psychiatric disorder of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy) to be his "authoritarian cult of personality " ignores his real personality. Because Trump lies about his Norman Vincent Peale interactions - we need not believe him. Trump, you see, is driven by his xenophobia.

Larry Schweikart and Joel Pollak got it right by describing Trump as "a mere reality-show Hollywood celebrity [and] a lifetime liberal who was hijacking [the Republican] party and their cause with a vain cult of personality."

rcocean said...

Liberals and the MSM use "authoritarianism" as an INSULT. Its no different then calling trump a "fascist" but they're run that insult label into the ground. Stop pretending the RINO's and Liberals are sincere when they call Trump names. And that can't be persuaded with logic either. It gets so fucking boring.

Leftist: Hello, you right wing son of a bitch!
Center-Right: Oh my dear sir, I beg to differ. Here's my doctor's note saying I'm not a dog. AND my 6 page memorandum detailing all the logical fallacies in your statement. Please Retract!
Leftist: You're right, you're a Nazi Bastard..

Drago said...

I see our Poor Man's (He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned) gadfly has returned with even more hastily pasted together mental meanderings gleaned from "reputable" online sources to present as his/her/xer
own insightful commentary.

Scintillating stuff.

Drago said...

gadfly: "Intellectually they are not in the same universe and i don't think I have support that statement."

LOL

Goodness no. Why would you even attempt to support such an observation? That would require marshalling real evidence in a coherent way to make your point!!

And we all know where that would end up, dont we?

Achilles said...

gadfly said...
What a bunch of bull from the pen of Tara Isabella Burton comparing Marianne with Donald. Intellectually they are not in the same universe and i don't think I have support that statement.

I agree. But I like to support my statements.

Trump has numerous actual accomplishments all throughout his life including 2 years of being one of the most positively effective presidents in history.

Williamson is a Krishna and sold some books to some idiots in the self-help section and wants to ban the production of bullets and guns.

buwaya said...

!? Gadfly?

What national leader ever has lacked feelings of self importance and need for admiration? The complaint is historically ignorant. It is also humanly ignorant. What, after all, is ambition, seen through an enemies eyes?

All leaders of insurgencies and revolutions moreover have "hijacked" power structures that were useful to them. That they could so easily be hijacked proves their weakness of morale and thus availability to an insurgent.

Hence the French revolutionaries easily took over the Gardes Francaises in 1789, which provided them immediately with a hard core of trained soldiers. That, more than anything else, probably, was the critical factor that ensured that the French Revolution would not be some local Parisian revolt.

This complaint is mere whining.

Birkel said...

I'm still holding out hope that gadfly and/or readering makes an interesting point.

Birkel said...

Just one each, mind you.

readering said...

(Yawn)

Michael K said...

What a bunch of bull from the pen of Tara Isabella Burton comparing Marianne with Donald. Intellectually they are not in the same universe and i don't think I have support that statement.

Not to pile on but that statement is true but not what you think. It may be a characteristic of the left to imagine that things happen by magic. Trump did not happen by magic.

I have defined "White Privilege" as homework.

cubanbob said...

Note Ann for being a supposed scholar never broaches subjects like immigration, taxes, tariffs and the like but she wants you to think that Trump is an authoritative weirdo -steering you to Hitler but she doesn't have the gumption to say that outright. Remember she is an old old old liberal and voted for Stein."

I don't know who Althouse voted for but she has complained about paying exorbitant property taxes but nevertheless continues to vote for candidates of the only truly authoritarian national political party.

Gadfly might be having an epiphany.

Michael K said...

Blogger readering said...
Whatabout


Yes it was and I see you have no response. You complain about press conferences when he has one every day he travels.

cf said...

Huisache: “...At the the most out-there point I took part in a spiritual duel with Hare Krishnas in the back streets of Saltillo, Mexico.”

I am with Owen, this is a comment winner, if only because it broadens the picture of
what a hunger Americans have for spiritual anchoring, what a crazy courage we have that such a grounding might exist anyway, and how far we are willing to explore to find it -- by ourselves! in ourselves!)

godspeed, america

Jim at said...

Folks here are gagging on cult of personality but what do they make of the focus on large rallies and replacing press secretary conferences with tweets? - readering

One shouldn't complain 'whatabout' when one actually starts with 'whatabout.'

readering said...

Let's use this post to comment about everything.

narciso said...

Neither Peale nor Christian science is really about christianity, the former Is rather lookwarm truism, unlike say McCain or Romney this candidate has a personality, hes a rough instrument but that's what required right now.

Bay Area Guy said...

I am feeling the gnostic love in this thread.
--Marianne

narciso said...

Yes authoritarian personalities is right out of adorno and the Frankfurt school, hofstadter domesticated it, althizer made it more dominant

Quayle said...

Oh, and also, please stop lying on the professor. She did not vote for Jill Stein. She voted for Hillary Clinton. Inga binga banga bunga is the one who voted for Stein, so she said.

Well here's another clue for you all: the Inga was Althouse.

My daughter suspected for a long time and from Ann’s written condemnation and banishment, it confirmed the suspicion and made it all too clear. Inga was always Ann.

Looking through the bent-backed tulips
To see how the other half live
Looking through a glass onion at Althouse blog.

chuck said...

Trump did not happen by magic.

He worked for it. Hillary not so much. Watching Trump campaign in PA and other winnable states during the last days before the election was the one thing that gave me hope.

narciso said...

No that's very silly, ingame has a very distinct personality from our host.

Drago said...

readering: "Let's use this post to comment about everything."

Its just not fair that other commenters easily debunk the "everything" coments offered up by readering.

Nichevo said...

That's very interesting, Quayle, and I invite you to elaborate, but that no more makes Althouse a Stein voter, which she expressly denied, than it means that she has multiple daughters in the Navy and every other interesting Walk of Life.

madAsHell said...

I think religion in the broad sense is a fundamental part of being human,

Agreed, and it's amazing what crawls in to fill that void. Global warming, trans-gender, feminism.

readering said...

Pope preaches against climate change.

chuck said...

Oh, come on readering, it isn't like the Pope is Catholic.

readering said...

Newsflash. Pope not Catholic. Details at 11. (I knew what you meant.)

Michael McNeil said...

Bonaparte never hurt us. The Brits tried to exterminate us.

Napoleon hadn't yet crowned himself Emperor (1804), but he did dominate France at the time and then had himself appointed “First Consul of the Republic” (dominating it even more) during the “Quasi-War” (the undeclared war) between the U.S. and France during the years 1798-1800.

Narr said...

Napoleon used us, we used him--that's politics, folks.

He did give us a deal, though, so one cheer for him.

Narr
Vive l'Empereur!

policraticus said...

Have you blogged Ross Douthat's book Bad Religion? It's worth a read and now seems oddly prescient.

And, to pile on the general opprobrium being leveled against the article for its invocation of Trump as an "authoritarian," allow me to quote Jonah Goldberg, who though no cheerleader for the president, often points out, "Trump isn't Hitler. Hitler could have repealed Obamacare."

daskol said...

You may excuse the progressives who insist that Trump is authoritarian. Today anyone who speaks with authority, whether that authority derived from the privilege of a life of scholarship and dedication or expertise hard won through industry or merely because one has a booming voice that projects well, is mistaken for an “authoritarian.” It’s not him, it’s them.

Francisco D said...

Elevating Trump's narcissistic personality disorder (described by Wiki as ...

You simply do not know what you are talking about, but it probably sounds good to you.

If you want to diagnose a personality disorder, earn a PhD., internship and experience with the DSM-V.

Sheesh!

Ambrose said...

I think Trump could be a lesson for Marianne Williamson. It is all well and good to run for president as a means to increase your name recognition and revenue potential, but be very very careful, you just might win.

R.J. Chatt said...

"For Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump, religion is all about themselves/The conviction that you can shape the world with your mind is an American tradition."

The quote indicates the author doesn't know much about the subject of religion as a spiritual practice. However in America we are free to choose our pratice of religion and that means no one has the ultimate answer. We choose not to fight over that. And also a majority holds the view that no one has to seek God through an intermediary. Even organized religion holds less and less power thus people state they are spiritually inclined but not members of an organized church.

A meditation teacher I studied with frequently expressed frustration with all organized religions because in his words they so rarely provide people a direct experience of God, which should be religions' purpose. Meditation was marketed for relaxation but also taught as a window into direct personal religious experience. Talking about religious experience is something like talking about music or food -- without the actual experience the talking is meaningless or even counterproductive. This is not about will power or mental control, that's missing the essence entirely.

So I disagree that for Williamson and Trump religion is all about themselves. Williamson has been a teacher of a system of thought where the goal is to become aware of one's true nature which is based in something bigger than our lives, i.e., the Love of and by the Creator, and to strive to live our lives consciously with that knowledge. Trump has lived his life of action with that basis of knowledge and leads by example not by talking about his beliefs.

They both share a belief that there is something bigger than us, something eternal, positive and loving, and we can strive to live with that as a guide and have a personal relationship with That.

JamesB.BKK said...

More needed about greater than 100 years of puritanical progressives bent on "correcting" humanity and creating impossible equalities from the top down, lately using de facto and de jure blasphemy laws, aggressive disemployment, and awards stripping rites against perceived and actual non-complaints.

Nichevo said...

buwaya said...
!? Gadfly?

Buwaya, I think that gadfly affects to be ordinarily a conservative, but one with a personal grudge against the President, as if he had stolen his woman and, worse, given her back. I think this is false but that is the lens you may view his postures through.

Drago said...

Nichevo: "Buwaya, I think that gadfly affects to be ordinarily a conservative, but one with a personal grudge against the President, as if he had stolen his woman and, worse, given her back. I think this
is false but that is the lens you may view his postures through."

Sometime back it became clear gadfly began to mimic the idiocy of a certain LLR who shall remain unmentioned.

Of course, being gadfly he/she/xe was unable to pull it off.

Unexpectedly.

Its all been downhill from that already low starting point.

Bilwick said...

" . . . the notion that we can transform our material circumstances through faith in our personal willpower." As I understand New Thought teaching, willpower has little to do with it.