Opinion The New Old Pretender

17:11  11 june  2021
17:11  11 june  2021 Source:   theatlantic.com

The Thin Veneer of Normalcy

  The Thin Veneer of Normalcy Just below the surface, the United States faces a set of perilous, unresolved threats. The former president refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the election he lost. His party’s leaders are abandoning their commitment to democratic majority governance, and its voters insist that he won. Domestic terrorism threatens the nation’s tranquility, and ordinary violent crime is on the rise too. Relaxing about the state of the country feels irresistible, but doing so would be unwise.[David A.

“He loved authority and business. He had a high sense of his own personal dignity,” one commentator observed. “He was not altogether destitute of a sentiment which bore some affinity to patriotism … His second wish was to be feared and respected abroad. But his first wish was to be absolute master at home.”

a person posing for the camera © AP; Popperfoto / Getty; Paul Spella / The Atlantic

He came to power, succeeding a popular head of state who had tried to restore normalcy, and even enjoyed a certain amount of popular backing at the start. But a series of self-inflicted blunders over the ensuing four years gradually sapped his support. He “was bent on ruining himself; and every attempt to stop him only made him rush more eagerly to his doom.” As the end closed in, he raged against officials for following the law rather than his orders. “You believe everybody,” he fumed, “rather than me.” In the end, he was removed from office, and his best attempts to return came up short.

Florida group home calls shootout 'result of the system failing our children'

  Florida group home calls shootout 'result of the system failing our children' The Florida group home -- and the juvenile justice system -- are now in the spotlight. The children ran away Tuesday evening and then allegedly broke into an empty house, which the homeowner said was stocked with an AK-47, a handgun, a shotgun and a large amount of ammunition, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

I refer, of course, to King James II and VII of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

The resemblances between this king and Donald Trump are peculiar, and also illuminating. In each case, a morally and politically flawed leader is ejected from office; he goes into exile, establishes an opulent court, and plots a reinstatement; his children strive to take up the mantle, while a small but devoted band of supporters remains steadfast. Think of it as 45 meets the ’45.

[David A. Graham: Jeff Sessions explains why Christians support Trump]

Trump’s story is familiar. The history of the Jacobite movement (the name comes from the Latin for “James”) may be less so. James II became king upon the death of his brother, Charles II, in February 1685, but his religion—Catholicism, in a Protestant country—and various political missteps led to his removal in the so-called Glorious Revolution. James fled to France, where he died in 1701.

12-year-old, 14-year-old open fire at deputies

  12-year-old, 14-year-old open fire at deputies A 14-year-old girl is seriously hurt after she and a 12-year-old boy allegedly armed themselves with stolen guns and opened fire on deputies. The children, who reportedly ran away from a children’s group home hours earlier, allegedly broke into an empty house Tuesday night, which the homeowner said was stocked with an AK-47, a handgun, a shotgun and a large amount of ammunition, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

His son James Francis Edward Stuart—James III and VIII to his supporters, the “Old Pretender” to his critics—twice attempted to reclaim the British throne, once in 1715 and then again four years later. James’s son Charles (“the Young Pretender” or “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” now known for his role in the period book and TV series Outlander) tried once more in 1745, before being defeated at Culloden the next year. Jacobitism and the House of Stuart were effectively finished, though the lost cause became a popular Romantic motif, especially in Scotland.

The parallels between the Stuarts and Trumps are personal, political, and structural. When I put the notion to Sir Tom Devine, the preeminent living Scottish historian, he first laughed uproariously. “I absolutely love this comparator,” he told me once he’d regained his composure. “The entrails of connections are so potent and so lovable.”

Crime leads voter concerns as NYC mayoral primary approaches

  Crime leads voter concerns as NYC mayoral primary approaches NEW YORK (AP) — Fear of crime is back as a political issue in New York City. For the first time in years it could be a prime factor in who voters pick as their next mayor. Early voting begins Saturday in the city's party primaries. Ballots are being cast as the city is emerging, brimming with hope, after a year in pandemic lockdown, but also amid an unsettling rise in shootings. The violence is still well short of the historic highs of the 1990s, or even in the New York of the early 2000s. But it has forced the leading Democratic candidates to balance talk of police reform with promises not to let New York backslide to its long-gone days as a crime capitol.

[Read: Outlander: False feminism?]

There are differences. James II was devout; Trump is not, though he has also found religion to be a powerful political force. James was also noted for his physical courage. But there are temperamental similarities between the men, says Daniel Szechi, a prominent historian of Jacobitism.

“Despite his many, many flaws, he was a better human being than Trump, but he shared some similar characteristics,” Szechi wrote in an email. “He was profoundly ignorant, had when young a libido the size of New York, believed he was on a mission from God, and maintained he was the true king even after the Parliaments of the three kingdoms had all deposed him, and, indeed, continued to believe the people of England still loved him despite all evidence to the contrary.”

Politically, the two men also shared an absolutist view of power, and both were accused of cruelty. “You could argue that the Trump experience revealed a sense of the development of almost a semi-monarchical court,” Devine told me. “Not only that, but a sense of dynasty, with all these other creatures who were around him to do his bidding.”

Cleared Chicago priest holds first Mass since reinstatement

  Cleared Chicago priest holds first Mass since reinstatement CHICAGO (AP) — An activist Roman Catholic priest cleared by an Archdiocese of Chicago investigation into claims that he sexually abused several boys decades ago returned to the pulpit of his longtime church on Sunday for the first time in five months. “It’s good to be home,” the Rev. Michael Pfleger repeatedly told congregants of the Faith Community of St. Sabina, describing his time away during the investigation as a “painful nightmare.” Pfleger, 72, was placed on leave in January amid allegations from two brothers who said Pfleger sexually abused them as children starting in the 1970s. A third man later also alleged that Pfleger molested him once in 1979 when he was 18.

[Clint Smith: The whole story in one photo]

In November 1688, when James’s son-in-law and nephew, William of Orange, invaded England, James insisted he was the rightful king, even after it was clear his support had collapsed. In November 2020, Trump insisted against all evidence that he had rightfully won the election; James’s legal justification was arguably much stronger. James urged his supporters on to a violent attempt to restore him to power, though it took years for Jacobite forces to be put down, while the Trump-inspired January 6 insurrection was quelled within hours.

The Stuarts then set up courts in Catholic countries on the continent, first in France and then in Italy. Palm Beach’s Mar-a-Lago might not be the Palazzo Muti in Rome, but they played a similar function. The deposed monarch and his heirs could live in splendor, oversee a quasi-ambassadorial function, and hand out favors to loyal supporters.

Both dynasties drew their support from outside major centers of population and power. For Trump, that is rural areas, especially in the South. Jacobitism remained strongest on the fringes of the kingdom, in Scotland, Ireland, and Cornwall. (Indeed, Trump’s mother emigrated from Scotland, where her own Clan MacLeod had been supporters of the Jacobite cause.) Like Trump backers who now call for the secession of red states, Jacobites favored the dissolution of the union of the crowns.

Alex Rodriguez leaves Katie Holmes' apartment

  Alex Rodriguez leaves Katie Holmes' apartment Alex Rodriguez, 45, kept a low profile as he was spotted leaving a New York City apartment building that is home to Katie Holmes, though it wasn't clear whom he was visiting.But Alex Rodriguez was out and about in New York City on Sunday when he was spotted exiting the apartment building that is home to Katie Holmes, among others.

[Read: The Civil War isn’t over]

Trump has now become an Old Pretender, in function if not personal affect: James Francis Edward Stuart was known as an intellectual. In his exiled court, the ex-president plots a return, either via a chimerical reinstatement or a new run for president in 2024. There is a Young Pretender too—Donald Trump Jr., or as we might rechristen him, Bonnie Prince Donny, who aspires to replicate his father’s political success. (Both heirs struggled with alcohol and romantic stability.)

“The old monarchy, the old Jacobite monarchy, took major risks. And of course the greatest gamble of all was in 1745, when Charles Edward Stuart descended on Scotland with only a few supporters, some gold, but only the promise of support from the French monarchy,” Devine said. “Because of his businessman background, there’s a strong element of the gambler in Trump. There is an important analogy there.”

The Jacobites gambled everything and lost. The question is whether this fate awaits Trump’s family and movement as well. Trump is down, but he retains a grip on the Republican Party and is the favorite for the GOP nomination in 2024 if he wants it. While observers like me warn of the grave threat to American democracy that his thinking poses, Jacobitism went from a real peril to a nonentity by the end of the 18th century. “It’s so harmless and so timid and so emasculated—it’s not a threat anymore—it can be sentimentalized in the work, for example, of Sir Walter Scott,” Devine told me. “That could be the [movement’s] fate—the lost cause of Trump.”

Echoes of Breonna Taylor in shooting of Black man in Georgia

  Echoes of Breonna Taylor in shooting of Black man in Georgia ATLANTA (AP) — Johnny Lorenzo Bolton was lying with his eyes closed on a couch in his apartment near Atlanta when police serving a narcotics search warrant burst through the front door with guns drawn and no warning. Bolton stood up and at least one of the officers fired, sending two bullets into Bolton's chest. The 49-year-old Black man died from his injuries. Details of the pre-dawn encounter in December — most of which come from a lawyer representing Bolton’s family — resemble a case that is well known nationwide: the killing nine months earlier of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.

[David A. Graham: Trump’s lost cause]

Lost causes are not always so harmless, though. Mark Twain placed some of the blame for the Civil War on Scott’s novels. “Sir Walter had so large a hand in making Southern character, as it existed before the war, that he is in great measure responsible for the war,” he wrote in Life on the Mississippi. The Confederacy’s own Lost Cause myth casts a dark shadow over American politics to this day. On January 6, when Trump supporters stormed the seat of government to try to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president, one walked the halls of the Capitol bearing the Confederate battle flag.

At this moment, Trump’s movement remains a serious danger to democracy and rule of law in the United States—a new lost cause of its own with all the menace of the Confederacy. With some luck, perhaps one day Trumpism will eventually be relegated to bodice rippers and tourist kitsch.

Jennifer Lopez jets out of Miami with her 13-year-old daughter Emme .
She was spotted getting in her daily workout at a gym on Thursday morning. And by the afternoon, Jennifer Lopez was pictured boarding a private jet out of Miami, Florida with her 13-year-old daughter Emme.The 51-year-old superstar looked effortlessly chic in a white crop top and matching cargo pants as she bid farewell to her crew.She layered up her look with an oversized flannel shirt and slipped her feet into a pair of Timberland-style boots.Lopez wore her bright strands in a bun and placed a pair of gold framed aviator shades on her face.

usr: 1
This is interesting!