Nicholas Goldberg went to Harvard, and he’s more virtuous than you.
Read any of his columns at the Los Angeles Times, where he is the current associate editor and former editorial page editor, and that message becomes clear.
An especially obnoxious Goldberg piece from a month or so ago about an unpleasant encounter he had with a man sitting next to him on a long plane flight was illuminating. Goldberg noticed the man wasn’t properly wearing his mask, and proceeded to confront him:
I ignored him for the first half-hour or so, but finally, nervous about sitting for 12 full hours next to an unmasked man during a pandemic, I asked if he would put it on. I swear I was very polite. Apologetic even.
He ignored me. I asked again, and he finally looked at me and angrily told me that if I wanted him to wear a mask, I would have to get the flight attendant to tell him. He wasn’t going to take orders from me, he said.
So I got up and spoke to the flight attendant, who told him he was required to keep it on — covering both his mouth and nose — for the entire flight. But as soon as she walked away, he pulled it down again, sneered at me, and for the rest of the flight he wore it under his nose.
I said nothing more to him for the remaining 11 hours. I was actually afraid he might become violent if I persisted.
The column then devolved into a treatise on “air rage” and the bad behavior of the unwashed on airplanes, and concluded with Goldberg’s wish that his seatmate be banned from access to commercial air travel.
Why bring this up? After all, who cares what a washed-up op-ed page editor from a declining paper thinks about someone who recognizes the idiocy of mask-wearing as a defense against a virus we’re all going to get eventually?
You’re right, but then there was something else.
Monday, Goldberg popped off again, and this time it wasn’t about masks or climate change, another editorial fetish his missives rarely miss. Oh, no — this time Goldberg had to opine about the fact that, post-Virginia, Democrat political consultants are advising their pols that the Orange Man Bad gig is up, and that trying to tie everything in American politics to Donald Trump has officially gone stale. (READ MORE: A Post-Virginia Conversation With the Democrats)
Which is a real thing, by the way. It was always going to end up like this, but Trump now would almost assuredly throttle Joe Biden in a presidential rematch (purely hypothetical, of course; at least one of the two won’t be running for president in 2024). In Iowa, for example, a poll last week found Trump clobbering Biden by 11 points in a prospective 2024 matchup. Another poll three weeks ago had the prospective race essentially tied, but with Trump beating Biden everywhere but the Northeast.
None of this is surprising. Win an election and 10 months later people really aren’t interested in hearing that your predecessor is a poopy-head. Particularly when they’re not sure you don’t have poopy issues of your own.
So yes — the Democrats’ brain trust is now trying to convince their pols to get off Trump or else the beatings will continue.
But Nick Goldberg doesn’t like it. Nick Goldberg can’t help himself — he’s got to have more cowbell:
Control of Congress is absolutely necessary if President Biden is to achieve even a fraction of his agenda. Losing even one house would likely lead to complete legislative paralysis.
So winning these coming campaigns is tremendously important for Democrats, and I’m in no position to second-guess the strategists. If they say don’t make Trump the focus, they may well be right.
But forgive me if I take a moment to raise a scream of agony to the heavens: What in the world is wrong with the voters?
Why isn’t Trump the issue?
Isn’t the anti-Trump argument really the only argument that matters? At this particular moment in American history, doesn’t almost every other issue pale in comparison? Republican and Democratic voters alike ought to recognize the dangers that face the country if this dishonest, anti-democratic, twice-impeached demagogue returns to power. They should demand that the midterm candidates for House and Senate declare whether they’re with the former president or, as they should be, against him.
Republican officeholders who have sold their souls by cravenly capitulating to Trump and his falsehoods about the 2020 election should be voted out of Congress. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and his ilk have shown themselves to be dangerous and unprincipled, and they should pay for their irresponsibility.
I know there are plenty of Republicans who think that people like me are still in the grip of some sort of Trump derangement syndrome. But in my view, a second Trump term in office would be catastrophic for the United States, its reputation, its moral standing, its democratic process and its peace and security — not to mention for the future of the climate and the planet.
The mere possibility of a Trump restoration in 2024 should have voters of all parties leaping from their couches as if stung and running for the polls to vote no.
Sure, issues matter. It would be highly presumptuous of me to suggest voters shouldn’t be concerned about taxes and inflation and schools and all the other matters that make life easier or harder to live day-to-day. Democratic incumbents of course must persuade voters that they’re making progress fulfilling the promises they made during the last campaign.
But honestly, with the exception of climate change, it’s hard to think of any single issue that matters as much as the possibility of Trump’s return. And empowering his sycophants and enablers in the midterm empowers Trump himself two years later.
Wait, wait … just … a … little … more …
When I think that 74 million people voted for Trump in November 2020 even after seeing how he behaved in his first four-year term, I worry for the soul of the nation. Even more distressing is that so many continued to support him after he demonstrated his utter disdain for fair elections, democratic institutions and the rule of law after he lost the race.
Goldberg was born in 1958. He’s almost ready for Social Security. Maybe the Los Angeles Times can survive long enough to avoid another round of newsroom layoffs that would prevent him from being cast out before his retirement onto the government dole. The point is, he’s old enough and clearly dumb enough as to make it highly unlikely he could receive an education.
But we’re gong to attempt one for him really quickly nonetheless.
Hey, Nick, so you’ll know: those Trump voters you think are such blockheads because they continue to support him? They don’t actually care about Trump all that much. Really, they don’t. They like him because he fulfilled his promises, or at least made a real effort to, but you have it in your head that MAGA, or Trumpism, is some sort of cult of personality and, as usual, you’re wrong.
It isn’t Trump.
They — we — can’t stand you. You’re the problem.
You’ve been in journalism 39 years and you’ve never even written one book? You never even made it to CNN as a regular analyst? For 11 years you were the op-ed page editor at the L.A. Times amid its precipitous decline, and then you were demoted even from that?
Let’s face it, dude. You’re a stunning mediocrity. And yet you proceed to lecture people who have accomplished more with less privilege and connections about their unenlightened attitudes and behaviors.
Everything that drips from your proverbial pen is conventional wisdom crafted by others and repeated by you. You’ve spent your whole life doing, writing, and thinking things you think will please those above you on the corporate-media totem pole.
It’s worked out for you. Sort of.
But after a lifetime spent kissing those rear ends and sneering at those not in your circle, along comes Trump to show you that someone far more accomplished and dynamic can succeed far beyond your wildest dreams by trashing every aspect of the little culture you inhabit.
It doesn’t matter that Trump couldn’t hold on in 2020. You’re permanently damaged by the idea that the elite you’ve spent your whole life cultivating (unearned) membership in could be challenged.
That’s why you can’t stop writing screeds about those rednecks in their pickup trucks who are destroying the planet (while China and India build new coal power plants on every other street corner), or whining about that mask-refuser on your row, or griping that your anti-Trump sky-screaming doesn’t move the needle anymore.
Goldberg can’t stand it that Trump isn’t fully canceled. Just like he can’t live with the idea that his seatmate can still get on a plane.
And there’s a lesson here, which is that the little authoritarians of the woke Left cling to cancel culture and incessant name-calling as a substitute for physical courage.
Nick Goldberg sat passively on that plane while the man next to him refused to wear that mask because Goldberg was afraid of him. Then he retreated to his office and penned a screed fantasizing about banning the man from flying. And now, when Goldberg learns there’s a whole country full of people who similarly reject his politics and that of his party and president, he writes another screed fantasizing about making Trump hatred relevant again.
Goldberg is a loser. This is obvious. What makes him notable is that he’s not unique. In fact, he’s thoroughly unoriginal. Virtually all of the newsrooms in corporate America are populated with stunning mediocre drones precisely identical to Goldberg in every way that matters.
And America is run by a regime that is acting out all of their fantasies in real life, with predictably awful results.
Change is coming. And the Nick Goldbergs of the world won’t like what happens next.