Eye on 2020: The Post-Trump Reckoning

The “demented” American media are obsessed “with making everything about” President Trump, “as if he were not just president but a mad god,” laments Daniel McCarthy at Spectator USA. They believe “only the restoration of the true god — the establishment and its expertise — can reimpose order.” But a Joe Biden win “will not solve any of the problems that led to Trump’s election in the first place.” Indeed, “the ruling class will be more complacent and alienated than ever,” and “post-Trump America will be a country ready for another Trump — or someone even more terrifying to the elite.” The “failed elites who made Trump necessary” ignore at their peril that eventually “there will be a reckoning.”

Riot desk: The Real Instigators

Joe Biden charges that President Trump instigated the radical violence sweeping American cities, yet Democrats “have a history of encouraging supporters to be confrontational with counter-protesters and even local law enforcement,” Andrew O’Reilly claps back at FoxNews.com. In 2018, Rep. Maxine Waters “urged people to ‘absolutely harass’ members of Trump’s staff when they’re spotted in public.” Freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley likewise “called for ‘unrest in the streets,’ ” including over Trump allegedly “dismantling” the postal service. Then there was CNN anchor Chris Cuomo in July: “Please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”

Campaign journal: Joe’s Double-Talk on Fracking

“Joe Biden is upset” with ads “claiming he wants to ban fracking,” note the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s editors. He says they’re untrue. Yet Biden “only has himself to blame” for the confusion. In July, he said he’d “make sure” fracking is “eliminated.” In March, after Bernie Sanders said he’s going to stop fracking, Biden replied: “So am I.” Yet the industry’s “essential in Pennsylvania,” and, with its 20 electoral votes “up for grabs,” it could prove “pivotal.” President Trump has “repeatedly” visited the area promoting fracking, but Biden’s been “cautious,” perhaps “fearing backlash” from “Sanders and other leftists.” The Democratic nominee “needs to speak out clearly.” Yes, on Monday, he denied he’d ban the industry. He should “keep repeating it.”

Media watch: Denounce Lest Ye Be Denounced

National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson takes on the bizarre “ritual denunciation of Andrew Sullivan” by New York Times media columnist Ben Smith: “an extraordinary bit of moral reasoning that a cynic might take as an exercise in self-interested journalistic ass-covering.” Smith reports that New York magazine fired Sullivan because, as New Republic editor in 1994, he published excerpts from Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve.” The later “shift in culture had effectively made” that decision — “and the fact that he never disavowed it — a firing ­offense.” More, New York’s editor acted “before the magazine experienced a blowup over race of the sort that [has] erupted at other publications.” And that, says Williamson, is why Smith is denouncing Sullivan. “If an editorial decision in the 1990s can become a ‘firing offense’ ex post facto owing to a ‘shift in culture,’ then . . . all those nice progressives who did so much to advance the career of Andrew Sullivan, pariah, are eligible for professional sanction as well.”

From the right: The Conservative Debate

The GOP convention “did not settle a rancorous debate among activists and thinkers about what it means to be conservatives,” observes Samuel Goldman at The New York Times. “From the 1960s to the election of ­Donald Trump, the American right was largely defined by ‘fusionism’ — a complementary mix” of traditionalist morality and individual freedom. Trump’s victory led a “growing number of religious conservatives” and “economic nationalists” to argue “libertarian influences should be ­expunged” from the party. But “jettisoning liberty as a core political value encourages rejection of conservatism and America itself.” Yes, “reconciling liberty with genuine goods of community and morality is agonizingly difficult.” But conservatives’ task “is not to pursue unity of principles or interests but to recognize the paradoxes and dilemmas of a free society as sources of vitality.”

Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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