Michael Weiss writes: Well, I suppose a man who derives verbal inspiration from Charles Lindbergh, James Cameron and Bane, a man who celebrates fallen American intelligence operatives by comparing his cover appearances on Time magazine to those of Richard Nixon, can’t really be faulted for naming a holiday after his own resistible rise to power.
But the floridity that strikes the eye and ear in Donald Trump’s first presidential proclamation, heralding the day of his inauguration as a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion,” eerily echoes another insecure authoritarian’s advertisement for himself.
“Today, feelings of patriotism and love for the Motherland are truly invaluable for our vast multiethnic country. These noble qualities and the steadfast civic-mindedness of our people underpin the country’s unity and sovereignty.
“Of course, many factors are essential for the security of the country and its stable development. But they are only effective if people believe in their Fatherland, have respect for it and support it, if they consider our country the best and aspire to live and work for its prosperity.”
Thus spake Vladimir Putin on Russia Day, June 12, 2016.
Now compare. “A new national pride stirs the American soul and inspires the American heart,” the new commander-in-chief informs us, referring to nothing so new as his own state of becoming commander-in-chief. “We are one people, united by a common destiny and a shared purpose.”
I wouldn’t quite put it like that to the millions of women and men who marched in every major American city on Saturday, much eclipsing the headcount at Trump’s rainy Friday anointment. They seemed to declare their destiny and purpose distinctly at odds with how the pussy-grabbing, wall-building executive chooses to define these. And any sensible viewer of White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s first two performances on the size of the crowd at the National Mall, or Kellyanne Conway’s reference to alternative facts on Meet the Press by way of justifying that lie, emblematic of every wobbly despotism, will have been stirred by a feeling other than pride. [Continue reading…]