The upside of Trump’s moral abdication

ordinary Americans are waking up to that reality and rather than looking to the alleged conscience-in-chief to beat back the rising tide of racism and bigotry, they are taking matters in their own hands. This may well prove to be a healthy development that will strengthen national morality by decentralizing it.

.. The two fixed lodestars in America’s moral map were set by its great struggles against slavery and Nazism. One can question the means that the nation deployed against these two evils but not that they were worth fighting. After all, they represent an affront to every sacred principle this country stands for — equality, liberty, and justice. America sacrificed over 750,000 soldiers (not counting the Confederate casualties), more than all its other conflicts combined, in the service of these two causes.

.. Moreover, he implied that there was no big moral divide between Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, on the one hand, and Robert E. Lee, on the other — never mind that Jefferson and Washington despised slavery whereas Lee, the confederate general, fought to preserve this cruel institution nearly a century later. Nor was Trump simply making a slippery slope argument when he warned that tearing down Lee’s statue would inevitably visit the same fate on America’s slave-owning founders. Indeed, since his original comments, he has gone even further, lamenting on Twitter the removal of “our beautiful statutes and monuments.”

.. Stunningly, he is no longer even claiming — as some Southerners have the decency to do — that Lee’s statues are warts that need to be preserved to remind us of our ugly history. No, they need to be maintained because they are “beautiful.”

.. PayPal has invoked a clause in its contract that reserves the right to deny access to anyone who promotes “hate, violence, and racial intolerance” to cut off outfits like Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute, a white separatist think tank. Meanwhile, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs cancelled a conference that VDARE, a nativist outfit, was planning to hold there next April.

.. But precisely because there is a cost to businesses themselves when they shun someone, they have an inherent incentive in not going too overboard in quashing dissenters, unlike ideologically motivated Social Justice Warriors.