Heidegger’s judgment of the Nazis has been much on my mind since reading a recent Peggy Noonan column about an obscure but exceedingly interesting website called the Journal of American Greatness (abbreviated JAG) — really an anonymous collective blog for idealistic admirers of Donald Trump.
Now, to be clear: Trump is not Adolf Hitler. And a thoroughly Trumpified GOP would not be a resurrected National Socialist party. (Though it’s also true that Nazi sympathizers would be among its most motivated and enthusiastic supporters).
Still, pondering the parallels between Heidegger’s judgments and those on display in JAG is a useful and illuminating exercise. JAG‘s contributors are very smart, very thoughtful provocateurs who recognize many of Trump’s faults as a candidate and a person. And yet, they stand behind him. On an informational page of the website, they answer the question “Do you really support Trump?” by declaring, “We support Trumpism, defined as secure borders, economic nationalism, interests-based foreign policy, and above all judging every government action through a single lens: Does this help or harm Americans? For now, the principal vehicle of Trumpism is Trump.”
Which is a little like supporting an intellectualized form of National Socialism while conceding that its leader is a bit of a loon.
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