The Atlantic: Trump Destroyed the Most Important Virtue in America

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/trump-destroyed-most-important-virtue-america/617727/

You get a few freebies a month, so you should be able to read this.

Tom Nichols explains how we lost our “seriousness” and why it is important.

“The collapse of seriousness is the greatest loss we have sustained under Trump, one of the least serious human beings ever to occupy a position of great power in America. What do I mean by seriousness? It is the burden of knowing that we own our decisions, that our actions have consequences. It is the sense of responsibility that helps us to act without being ordered to act, the instinct that tells us, even when we are alone, that we owe a duty to others and that our behavior affects them as much as it does ourselves.”

“To be serious is not to be humorless. I am 60 years old, and I occasionally revel in my own silliness. We all should. As Thomas Aquinas reminded us, play refreshes the soul. But seriousness is the ability to know the difference between work and play. It is the wisdom to know when to stop laughing and to pay attention, weigh our words, and consider our actions beyond the intemperate advice of our own impulses. It is to know the difference between what is real and what is imagined.”

An interesting read on something I hadn’t considered “lost” or “destroyed”. But it made a lot of sense.

20 thoughts on “The Atlantic: Trump Destroyed the Most Important Virtue in America

    1. As a NOT Democrat I’d like to both appreciate your “grant”ing of whatever seriousness is as an accolade(?).and observe that my opinion about DEMs is that they are too gentle and prone to indecision.

      However, they are significantly more multifaceted and “deep” than the knuckle dragging morons of the trump cult.

      So there is that……

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “Democrats are shallower than paint.”

      Seriously? Maybe this is an attempt at humor? I will assume it is not.

      Democrats are the largest single party with about 1/3 of the electorate identifying themselves as such so very clearly your simple-minded statement about them is neither “adult” nor “civil.” It is “childish” and “uncivil” to a laughable degree. Sure, some are shallow. Some are deep. Some are in between.

      But wait. You have evidence. A right-wing propaganda article listing cherry-picked “findings” from a single college about the attitudes of students – not of Democrats. Sad.

      Just to pick one of the “findings” hating the NRA is not evidence of being shallow. Have you forgotten about this woman . . .

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/nra-ad-the-violence-of-lies/2017/06/30/295dde84-5d93-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_video.html

      If she doesn’t scream “Hate me!” nobody does.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL!

          What part of “2012” is beyond YOUR stable genius? Maybe you haven’t notice but the GOP has been shedding the people – white middle-class suburbanites – who drove that good result.

          If you think man-in-the-street interviews are evidence I refer you to the work of Jordan Klepper. Here is one of many samples . . .

          Liked by 1 person

        2. “ Lot’s of passion, but no basis other than some celebrity told them what to think.”

          Passion combined with ignorance equals storming the Capitol to kill the VP because they believed he could do something illegal and unconstitutional for them since they were told that he would.

          By a celebrity.

          Many of those loyal fans will sleep after “lights out” and bed checks for the foreseeable future. And the celebrity will be hitting the links for golf and cheeseburgers.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. …” celebrities guiding political thought”…

            Wasn’t it celebrities that brought criminal justice reform to T****’s desk in the first place? I recall a member of the Kardashian clan lobbying for clemency for Alice Johnson. And the name Kardashian is about as celebrity as you can get.

            Like

  1. Now that we can look back on the Trump Error I suggest we consider the ethos of the WWE to explain the lack of seriousness in his circles. And the nature of his appeal to his base. Much of Trump’s behavior can be understood if we consider that he was playing a character for a WWE show. Like he did here . . .

    The similarity of the crowd to that of a Trump rally is uncanny.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The collapse of seriousness took place today. With a straight face, Biden opened the door to terrorist nations freely entering our country, inviting even more illegal aliens into the country, introduced a bill to buy 11 million illegal alien votes with other people’s money and made a mockery of this nations soviernty all within hours of taking the helm. Did I mention with a straight face?

    Like

    1. We already have terrorists freely roaming this country. They stormed the Capitol in case you missed it.

      Maybe some 3%ers, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and their buds could join the ones we have in Gitmo.

      Brethren in violence should stick together.

      Liked by 2 people

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