Last night was the fourth Republican debate, and only the second I’ve watched in full. I’m glad I did, as it was pretty fun. The process has winnowed out the other candidates who weren’t going anywhere, and we’ve ended up with the alternative to Trump (DeSantis), the crazy outsider (Vivek), the establishment politician (Haley), and the establishment politician who hates Trump (Christie).
Inez thinks that DeSantis won the debate. In my view he sort of blended into the background, but a post-debate poll shows that many Republican viewers agree with her.
We talk about the “paranoid style” in conservative politics, and the pluses and minuses of personalizing what you are fighting against. Inez and I both agree that it becomes an issue when politicians begin to believe that individual actors in the system are the main problem. This leads to a discussion of how Trump is one of those politicians, and Inez puts forth some speculation regarding whether his thirst for personal vengeance might or might not facilitate achieving conservative political goals in a second administration.
In the last ten minutes, we go into the recent testimony of elite college presidents in front of Congress. As I’ve pointed out, I have a deep aversion to this language of safety, bullying, harassment, etc. But Inez reminds me that it was the Critical Race Theory issue that led to the expansion of school choice programs across the country, and maybe we’ll see something similar with the universities. It would require a Republican president being able to wield power effectively though, and at best we’re going to get Trump next time, so I doubt this goes anywhere anytime soon. In the long run, however, the universities can’t survive as they are with one major political party considering them the enemy, and the influence of right-wing hatred of colleges, which Gallup shows has increased only very recently, should make itself felt on the scale of decades.