October 11, 2016

Casablanca

Casablanca

It was A Face in the Crowd, another Kazan, this time about a charismatic hick dubbed “€œLonesome Rhodes”€ who is (willingly) molded into a Will Rogers”€“meets”€“Father Coughlin mass-media sensation and then a populist political force; the amoral cad is about to step into the newly created Cabinet position of “€œSecretary for National Morale”€ before his downfall.

“€œI come from a branch of conservatism that is nervous about excessive political enthusiasm,”€ Goldberg said by way of explaining his choice.

The Founding Fathers, he continued, set up a system of checks and balances to “€œdilute”€ the people’s populist “€œpassions,”€ to, hopefully, prevent benighted average Americans from putting a Lonesome Rhodes in the White House.

In other words: Both TCM guest programmers, the liberal and the conservative, used their airtime to advertise their disapproval of “€œmobs”€ and “€œpopulism.”€

Now: Lonesome Rhodes”€™ ambitions are shattered by”€”60-year-old spoiler alert”€”a “€œhot mic.”€ (Watch the scene here.) And mere days after Goldberg’s TCM appearance, Trump’s “€œpussy”€ tapes were released.

Goldberg’s reaction was predictable:

Trump is “€œa pig”€ and you”€™re all idiots.

Perhaps. I do know that tonight, millions will tune in to the second Trump/Clinton debate, but my nerves can”€™t take it. It’s October, so TCM is running Halloween programming, and every Sunday is “€œFrankenstein Night.”€ So instead, I”€™ll be (re)watching some lesser Universals, House of or Son of or Ghost of“€”I really don”€™t care.

And as much as he despises Trump, Goldberg will be one of those millions tuning in out of duty, with a combination of disgust and delight. Still unable to admit that this “€œpig”€ and his “€œpopulism”€ would never have come this far if not for…yes, yes, the “€œMainstream Media”€ and elite intellectuals like Leon Wieseltier, but”€”as has been widely and rightfully noted“€”Professional Conservatives, too. Like Jonah Goldberg.

Who’s afraid of the pitchfork mob, all right, but still doesn”€™t understand that he’s one of the Doctors.


Columnists

Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!