I'm not sure if anyone has put it together yet, but if Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE does not go quietly into the good night within the month or so, then we will have reached a turning. You can feel it already with the rise of Marine Le Pen and the hard-right National Front in France. And in our times, as goes France, so goes everyone as we have unfortunately connected ourselves here, there and everywhere in foolhardy cultural globalization so if one goes, everything goes.
In France's election last year, Le Pen claimed that the National Front would rise to be France's "No. 1 party." Then on election night, the National Front did better than even it had expected, polling a historic 25 percent in the European elections, The Guardian reported.
And it was not just France, but throughout Europe.
"Around a fifth of seats in the [European] parliament are now held by hard-right anti-establishment or euroskeptic parties from countries including France, the U.K., the Netherlands and Denmark. And concerns are already being raised about how this might affect the economy of the European Union (EU)," CNBC reported in the same election.
The Trump phenomenon might best be viewed in that context.
It might have started here, with the Tea Party and all sorts of new thinking from states' rights to gold and Austrian economics, to a total rethinking of foreign policy and a repudiation of globalism as we have experienced it since the end of World War II. I claimed back then and stay with it today that the rise of Sarah Palin first awakened it; awakened, that is, a kind of cultural apocalypse. From The Hill, Oct. 2, 2008, the night she would debate now-Vice President Biden:
There comes a moment when something comes unfettered and free as if from nowhere and brings an end to all the systems and their agents and arts that we take for granted as part of who we are and what we always expect to be. The end of all that ... the end of everything. This is the apocalypse, and it could just as easily be bloodless as not.
That was the beginning of as sense of conservative discontent that advanced for a few years with fierce intensity then went again into submission. It returns now. Trump awakens it with new intensity.
I saw the tape of Trump denouncing Arizona Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (R). The comments were despicable. If you had lived through the Sixties, you would have heard the denunciation of war heros like McCain on a daily basis. They would be waiting to greet the soldiers returning from Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon after a year of war; greeting them with condemnation and obscenity. And it is not that they didn't register as brave or self-sacrificing to the new people come to life in the Sixties; it was that they just didn't register at all.
So it may be that we are likewise today seeing a turning; a turning in which everything swirls around the New Man and the New Man can do no wrong. What he does is put the old cultural cycle to rest. The attack on McCain was iconoclastic, like a Maoist revolutionary intentionally destroying a priceless Ming Dynasty vase to mark the transition in history. Trump repudiated the most treasured symbol of the old regime, its most venerable warrior.
And if it holds, it will spread to Europe. Le Pen will advance and so will the anti-establishment, hard right and euroskeptic parties. Greece will turn to Russia and so will others. The EU will disintegrate. Germany will rise. Pre-Trump America will be repudiated as decadent and totalitarian, a war-mongering, baby-killing nihilist world empire, leaving a trail of monstrosities in its wake. And Trump the new Napoleon, awakener of the New Man.
Again with the New Man.
Rick PerryRick PerryRepublicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party College football move rocks Texas legislature Trump tries to spin failed Texas endorsement: 'This was a win' MORE (R), former governor of Texas who wants to be president in 2016, today leads the charge against Trump. Perry has been all along the right man for the job in Washington, but, symptom of the times today (pre-Trump) for Democrats and Republicans alike, to find the best, look to the bottom. To find the worst, look to the top of the polls and there you will find Trump. The times cry out for radical change, change of any kind — painful, dynamic, irrational change — and Trump brings it.
Commentators suggest that Trump, on his record, makes no sense as a candidate for president. But when did revolution ever make sense? When did John Brown, John Lennon or Palin ever have to make sense to be effective?
If Trump is still riding high in the Republican polling say in a month or so from now, the Republicans can consider themselves to be all but finished. And Trump will be the avatar of a yet-defined new movement. A metamorphosis will have occurred. We will have entered a new phase of our American condition from which there will be no turning back.
Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and four children. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.