Two cheers for Martin Wolf

I hardly agree at all with Martin Wolf on anything these days. I once admired his wisdom, intelligence and perspicacity, but those days are long gone, and I suspect old ‘Two Brains’ has fallen into his dotage. I suspect younger readers encountering him now have the same feeling that I once had when I first encountered his old stablemate, Sam Brittan, in the early noughties – ‘Why does anyone pay attention to this guy?

Despite this regrettable parting of the ways, I still find things to admire in his writings. And this passage, excerpted from a recent Wolf column, is one of those:

The Iraq war has damaged trust in US wisdom and competence. But the global financial crisis has been even more destructive. Many have long suspected US motives. But they thought it knew how to manage a capitalist system. The crisis devastated that confidence.

After all this damage, election of a man as unqualified as Mr Trump would call into question something even more fundamental: belief in the capacity of the US to choose reasonably well-informed and competent leaders. Under a President Trump, the democratic system would lose much of its credibility as a model for the organisation of a civilised political life. Mr Putin and other actual or would-be despots would cheer. Their belief that talk of western values is just hypocrisy would be vindicated. But those who see the US as a bastion of democracy would despair.

Wolf is correct about the damage to US credibility and prestige resulting from the Iraq war – but not just the Iraq war; remember the hecatombs in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, as well as US support of the Israeli government – and from the unbelievable incompetence of financial policy, both pre-and post-financial crisis.

And I think he’s correct about the damage to US prestige and credibility that this election is wreaking. I just think he is talking of the wrong candidate. I think the US’ internal and external policies have gone so far off the rails that Trump is exactly what is needed to clean house and get things working again. I believe he is sufficiently pragmatic to be educable, while sufficiently bright and tough-minded to be effective. The disaster for the US, and for democracy, would be the election of the entirely corrupt, utterly compromised, corporate-indebted, and cult-marx marinated Hillary. I doubt that the US could survive a Clinton presidency.

So, how about this for a re-worked paragraph:

After all this damage, election of a person as compromised as Mrs Clinton would call into question something even more fundamental: belief in the capacity of the US to choose reasonably honest, minimally competent, uncorruptedtrustworthy and respectable leaders. Under a President Clinton, the democratic system would lose much of its credibility as a model for the organisation of a civilised political life. Mr Putin and other actual or would-be despots would cheer. Their belief that talk of western values is just hypocrisy would be vindicated. But those who see the US as a bastion of democracy would despair.

どうですか?

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About Stebbing Heuer

A person interested in exploring human perception, reasoning, judgement and deciding, and in promoting clear, effective thinking and the making of good decisions.
This entry was posted in Cult-Marx Inversion, Democracy and freedom of mind, Flotsam and Jetsam, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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