A Return to Temperance - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
A Return to Temperance
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The favorite word from the media on Wednesday: “Chaos.” As in, the Trump administration is in chaos. The world is in chaos. Every little thing Trump does creates chaos.

Yet on Wednesday Trump did some routine Presidential things: talked to world leaders on the phone, go to a fallen Navy Seal’s funeral, considered legislation.

How were those stories reported? Well, leaks of conversations the President had with foreign leaders were either wrong or distorted. The media howled at being left out of the loop about the President’s whereabouts and then grumbled that the President should have told them he was going to the funeral knowing full well that had he announced his destination, they would have accused him of using a the death of a serviceman for political purposes. The media, rather than focus on substance, reported gleefully about Republican defections from voting for this or that Cabinet nominee.

Here’s just one example from yesterday. There are more.


The media is committing journalistic mayhem. This is not Donald Trump’s fault. This is their fault. They simply cannot get their bearings in this new Republican world and in their sturm und drang, are rocking the boat of civility to the point that the vessel is taking on water.

Meanwhile, leftist activists fueled by various Hollywood celebrities and money from Soros and crew, are protesting, rioting, and stifling speech in the name, of “anti-fascism.” So the anti-fascists are using fascistic techniques to fight this nebulous enemy fascism. It’s absurd. It’s destructive. It’s unthinking.

The emotionalizing is pure Id. No frontal lobe engagement is involved. No higher processing centers. It’s all primal, tribal, inflamed amygdala overdrive.

It’s a problem.

The President, for his part, is more James T. Kirk than Jean Luc Picard. He is instinctual, hyperbolic, a man of passion, driven by a simple moral sense: this is fair/right or unfair/wrong. It is my impression that many on the left and right dislike his brash style so much that they can’t hear the words he’s actually saying and further, to understand what he means. Or, they’re offended by his sweeping hair and orange face and are bothered at a fundamental level that someone so ridiculous is supposedly their president. They’re embarrassed to look at him. He’s silly.

I understand that visceral reaction. George W. Bush’s twangy malapropisms drove me batty. Barack Obama’s incessant circumlocution caused me to tune out. He didn’t strike me as thoughtful when he paused and hum and huh’ed. He seemed dull-witted and boring. It’s been a long time since a President’s oratory style hasn’t bothered me. Donald Trump is more of the same. His dangling participles and weird facial expressions distract. Oh. Well. We can’t always get what we want when it comes to Presidents.

The elite class on both the left and right loved Obama’s style. He talked like a professor. He dressed the part. He said soothing words. His actions, though, were destructive at home and around the world. The media ignored it because his form and his beliefs mirrored their own. He was Spock and their inner nerd loved his bloviating disconnectedness.

Donald Trump is something altogether different and he appeals to Americans the media and elites don’t even know. The president and his supporters are unfathomable. The Other. These people are more alien to the elites than the refugees and illegal aliens flooding the United States borders. These flyover country fools do not view themselves as Citizens of the World. They view themselves as Americans. And America, we’re told, is in its twilight. It’s an idea from the past. A new world order run by the best and brightest  agree that it’s in the best interests of the world’s citizenry to bend the knee and obey.

From Britain, to America, to possibly France, and elsewhere, the people are asserting themselves. They like their British, American, and French Western culture, thank you very much, and are not interested in losing their identity to appease “the world community” — whatever and whoever that is.

To say that the taste and rule makers are angry is an understatement. To say that their stupid minions on college campuses are angry is another understatement.

Their rage fuels the riots flaming across America. Past-her-prime Sarah Silverman hopes for a military overthrow:


The problem? The military would never side with these spoiled brats. The average American will not side with these brats. They may get angry, though.

What happens when Americans tire of the disorder, destruction and nonsense? Does Sarah Silverman really understand the consequences of her intemperance?

Tolerance gets lip service by liberals. The Berkeley riot showed how little that principle matters to them in practice. Another forgotten all-American principle: Temperance.

Rather than zipping into the emotional stratosphere at every slight “trigger,” the media and the Democrats and the Hollywood has-beens could modulate their response. They could be temperate. They could show restraint.

Opponents to Trump could stop getting drunk on outrage and only indulge in it in moderation. Instead, they’re stumbling around, throwing up on reasonable patrons, screaming obscenities, and picking fights they’re bound to lose. No one likes a bellicose drunk.

Temperance protects a civil society. It keeps the sea calm. It prevents people from capsizing the social order. Temperance is the pause before the outburst. It is the thinking before engaging. It is a trait, like tolerance, that’s sorely lacking in liberal America. There was no burning, breaking, pillaging, and attacking during the Obama years. Though many were unhappy, they moderated their anger and tolerated their neighbors.

It seems that tolerance and temperance goes only one way. For now.

America need more temperate conversation and behavior from the Left. Without it, people like Sarah Silverman may get her wish and deeply regret it.

Melissa Mackenzie
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Melissa Mackenzie is Publisher of The American Spectator. Melissa commentates for the BBC and has appeared on Fox. Her work has been featured at The Guardian, PJ Media, and was a front page contributor to RedState. Melissa commutes from Houston, Texas to Alexandria, VA. She lives in Houston with her two sons, one daughter, and two diva rescue cats. You can follow Ms. Mackenzie on Twitter: @MelissaTweets.
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