Ed. here. Walt left on Wednesday to go to the nation's capital for the inauguration of President Donald Trump. (Dontcha love that phrase? We do!) But when he got to Richmond he found it strangely quiet, almost empty. I hope to set him straight over the weekend, and hope for some comments on Monday. Watch this space.
Meanwhile, here's an excerpt from "Don't set your hair on fire. It won't help", by Margaret Wente, an American ex-pat now living in Canada. If you read the whole thing, you'll learn that Ms Wente doesn't like President Trump, but is not joining the Wimmin's March on Washington because, IHHO, there's no point to it, or any of the other hysterical reaction we're hearing and seeing this weekend.
Why are we so irrational about Donald Trump? Well, we’re tribal, and we’ve decided he is Moloch. (By “we,” I mean the usual left-liberal-academic-media-urban professional crowd who don’t own pickup trucks.) Also, we have no sense of perspective. Most of us who live in North America have no idea what bad leaders or bad times are truly like. We don’t know any history, either. Populist backlashes are nothing new. According to the historian Niall Ferguson, the five ingredients for a backlash are a rise in immigration, a rise in inequality, a perception of corruption at the top, a major financial crisis, and a demagogue to light the spark. The U.S. scores a Bingo. Populism, he points out, is usually part of a global phenomenon. Its targets are typically immigration, free trade and high finance. Populists are more interested in trade wars than shooting wars. So Mr. Trump is nothing new in history. What’s new is his unequalled power to shake the global order.