• Recall how Salena Zito explained the disconnect between the elite media and the “deplorables” who voted for Trump: “The media took Trump literally but not seriously, while voters took Trump seriously but not literally.”
Well, I was reading through Arthur O. Lovejoy’s classic The Great Chain of Being when I came across this passage in the middle of his excellent discussion of Plato and Socrates: “It is true that [Plato] himself warns us that these [ideas of the Forms] are not to be taken literally; but this is not the equivalent to saying that they are not to be taken seriously.”
Who knew that Trumpism is just updated Platonism?
• And why, you may ask, did I have my nose in Lovejoy’s 1936 book in the first place? Well, I was punishing myself by reading more of Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind when I stumbled across this utterly inexplicable sentence: “One will look in vain throughout the canon of the right for steady assurances of a Great Chain of Being.”
I begin to suspect that Prof. Robin is writing to us from some parallel universe where Mr. Spock has a goatee beard, because the “canon of the right” is overwhelmingly about nothing but the Great Chain of Being (because it is the left that rejects metaphysics for the most part), and I decided to dust off Lovejoy’s book just to make sure I hadn’t somehow slipped into Dr. Robin’s Perverse Parallel Universe. I was right: I hadn’t. Robin is, technically and clinically speaking, nuts. Though to be fair, most universities these days (Robin teaches at Brooklyn College) believe themselves to be in some kind of universe of their own making. Like many inmates at insane asylums everywhere.
I wonder: Has Robin ever heard of a certain book called “The Bible,” beloved of many conservatives? It has a lot to say about the Great Chain of Being. From there, perhaps he might acquaint himself with a fellow named Aristotle. Footnotes to follow.
• I think I like this Greg Abbott guy who is governor of Texas:
(Hat tip: Ed Driscoll, Instapundit.)