Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse


I’ve been aware as I watch the election unfold that I am rooting for Donald Trump. I don’t intellectually embrace him or much of what he is saying, but I know — it’s so clear — that I’m rooting for him. That’s an observable phenomenon, and it’s undeniable.

—-Law prof. Ann Althouse, in a post that compares Hillaty vs Trump to Nurse Ratched vs. McMurphy, or the “Goody 2 Shoes” sister, “getting away with stuff on the sly” vs. the brother who “thinks it’s all bullshit” and who is “not going to be your good little boy.”

And the truth shall make us free.

This admission is very brave of Althouse, a professor in a liberal stronghold, Madison, Wisconsin, and a member of an increasingly politically monolithic profession in which favoring a Republican, much less a villainous fool  like Donald Trump, is the equivalent of dire heresy. Her confession is perceptive and illuminating. It explains why this election is so perplexing and conflicting despite Trump’s crippling character deficits. It explains why Hillary “isn’t 50 points ahead.” It is also perhaps the single aspect of the widespread Trump support that taps into something undeniably positive about the United States of America…unlike, for example, the fact that so many voters are ignorant.

I too find myself rooting for Trump while reviling him. It disturbs me, but the response is emotional. People like Hillary Clinton in our lives deserve to face rebellion, and need to be both opposed and exposed. I have spent much of my own life fighting a lot of Hillary Clintons (of both genders).* Seeing their smug, sneaky, cynical and self-satisfied faces covered with pie is one of the great thrills of existence, especially when you have had a hand in steering the course of the pie.

In the comments to her post, one wag compares Trump to Bart Simpson and Hillary to Lisa. We know that Lisa will be a more competent President, but it’s hard not to favor Bart. (Gary Johnson, notes another commenter, is Maggie).

I still will probably end up voting for Hillary as the most responsible choice. Still, it is gratifying that the United States culture, after all these years, still has a healthy reflex attraction to the rebel, the iconoclast, the rock-thrower, the risk-taker and the outsider.

If only that attraction wasn’t focused on such a boorish, untrustworthy fool….

*At an advanced age, working for a major association, I was once dressed down by the head of the association’s foundation because I dared to move a couple of her extra office chairs into the adjoining conference room for a meeting without asking in advance. Not that she needed them, of course: she just felt that I should have to give her 24 hours notice, or something; she wasn’t around when my chair emergency arrived. The next morning, she found her desk chair missing, with a note made up of letters cut out of newspaper that read “WE GOT YOUR CHAIR. DEMANDS TO FOLLOW” accompanied by an envelope containing one of the chair’s castors.  She was not amused, but it made my year.

40 thoughts on “Ethics Quote Of The Week: Ann Althouse

  1. Wet keyboard time. Great one. Unfortunately, I’m with you and Ann. I cannot define a single rational reason for it and I may wind up not voting for him, but still I pull for him.

  2. Another creepy thing… the entertainment industry celebrity factor. They all (not all but mostly all) seem to be in lock-step with HRC. I get the impression that the attitude is that “I am a celebrity and therefore, I will tell you how to think.” Maybe this explains why so many people would rather run the other way.

  3. What I wanna know is… Who stole the chair?

    Reminds me of some of the pranks we used to pull on you. Like when we filled every drawer and the seat of your chair with the dreaded styrofoam packing peanuts.

  4. Very interesting. I found the reference to ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ to provoke thought. But instead of seeing McMurphey and the inmates as the protagonist we root for, perhaps it is more the narrator of that tale. The Big Indian:

    “I hide in the mop closet and listen, my heart beating in the dark, and I try to keep from getting scared, try to get my thoughts off someplace else—try to think back and remember things about the village and the big Columbia River, think about one time Papa and me were hunting birds in a stand of cedar trees near The Dalles. But like always when I try to place my thoughts in the past and hide there, the fear close at hand seeps in through the memory. I can feel that least black boy out there coming up the hall, smelling out for my fear. He opens out his nostrils like black funnels, his outsized head bobbing this way and that as he sniffs, and he sucks in fear from all over the ward. He’s smelling me now, I can hear him snort. He don’t know where I’m hid, but he’s smelling and he’s hunting around. I try to keep still.”

    But when you super-impose the image of Big Nurse over that of Hillsbury, The NY Intellectual Establishment, and snooty-bitchy American women, it all makes a great deal of sense. Yes. Yes! That’s what we are fighting against.

    Go Donald…

  5. My wife and I are just wrapping up her two year assignment here in The Netherlands. People here ask us if we are going back to the U.S. so we can be there to vote in the presidential election and, of course, save the world, and them, from a Donald Trump presidency. I’m tempted to to say “Fuck you, I’m voting for Trump. You’re Dutch. You don’t get to vote in an American election.What business is it of yours. All you do is complain about the U.S. anyway.” And I know it would just be a rude forearm shiver, but still, it’s very tempting.

    And I don’t think it’s fair to Lisa to compare her to HRC. Lisa is an intelligent sweetheart enduring marginally competent but endearing parents and a really annoying brother. (And she’s a very gifted, soulful sax player. Better than WJC, by a mile.) Our kids are an older sister and younger brother. I used a Simpsons line on our kids once when they were acting up: “That does it, [our Lisa like daughter], you can’t go to college and [our Bart clone son], you can’t watch TV.”

    So Jack, the answer to your question of why vote for Trump: Because eight more years of insufferable Yalies is more than i can take.Throw the bums out.

  6. The problem with voting for the rebel is that you don’t really know why they’re a rebel. Are they a rebel because they don’t like what the establishment stands for? Or are they a rebel because they don’t like who the establishment is? Do they stand for something? Or do they just wish they had the power?

    If you take someone who’s been rebelling at the powers-that-be and put them in charge, will they still stand by their supporters? Or will they turn their rebellious attitude against all those now below them? The brash, pushy, devil-may-care underdog is exciting and fun. The brash, pushy, devil-may-care boss is a nightmare. What happens when you put Bart Simpson in charge of the class? Happy fun time? Or capricious iron-fisted rule?

    Or to put it another way, Trump supporters think they’re on the inside, but if he wins, are they really?

    • The brash, pushy, devil-may-care underdog is exciting and fun. The brash, pushy, devil-may-care boss is a nightmare

      Yes, this.

      I saw someone I used to respect say Trump was a “common man” candidate yesterday. The cognitive dissonance is truly amazing–in what parallel world is Trump not part of the wealthy elite?

      Is the appeal really just the fact that he talks like a moron?

      • Absolutely! At least in part. The anti-intellectual vote has been at play for many years. Not that HRC is any kind of intellectual, but compared to Trump, my Samoyed dog (who we swear knows English) is a genius.

      • Oh, come ON!

        1. He is the opposite of the arrogant “we know best, shut up and do what we say” “smart people” who have been running the country.
        2. He ignores the “you’re a xenophobe racist” threat hanging over the head of anyone who opposes illegal immigration for what it is—illegal, or Barack Obama’s smoke and mirrors, incompetent Presidency.
        3. He has no respect for people like Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and the Clintons, who are accorded more respect than they deserve.
        4. He speaks like most people speak—badly, lazily, bluntly—who aren’t politicians.
        5. He projects strength (falsely, but never mind) after 8 years of a President who projected weakness. American prefer strong leaders.
        6. He’s willing to call bullshit bullshit
        7. He refuses to be bullied or intimidated by feminists, the news media, black activists and grievance hustlers.
        8. He has the guts to flag the Clintons’ hypocrisy.
        9. Most of all, he is a living, walking, finger in the eye of the so-called “elites,” including journalists, who have disgraced themselves.

        None of this qualifies him to be President in the least. But you should be able to understand the appeal.

        • Succinct analysis, Jack. Right on the money. What are you eating these days? You’re tossing off commentary lately as if you have a staff of writers in your basement.

  7. I must confess I don’t understand this reaction. Trump isn’t a “rebel,” he’s a bully, and like most bullies, is fundamentally a coward, and a stupid one at that. I don’t find myself rooting for stupid cowards to win at anything, and I find it hard to fathom why others would.

    • Why not both? He’s a bully, and a boor, and an-all around asshole, but he is a rebel of sorts in that his unmoored by party allegiance and Washington standards. Some Republicans (rightfully) don’t trust him and question his conservative credentials. But is he less conservative than Hillary? I’m voting for him (in MA – big deal) but harbor no illusions about him being conservative or actually doing anything. In fact, I’m voting for him mainly because I don;t think he’ll be able to do anything. He will be checked and balanced at every turn, whether deserved or not. President “Historic” Hillary! Dissent = misogyny. No thanks.

      • “I’m voting for [Trump] mainly because I don’t think he’ll be able to do anything. He will be checked and balanced at every turn, whether deserved or not. President “Historic” Hillary! Dissent = misogyny. No thanks.”

        Exactly my approach (plus, exactly your preceding thoughts as you wrote). I would expect Donald to be impeached within a year of taking office. But, he is not going to be elected. And, the Democrats are going to gain control of the Senate. So, I look at my upcoming vote as just the beginning of my rebellion, with hope that sufficient millions more will subsequently join me in more un-ignorable, impactful (and even, less civil, if necessary) revolt. Because you know Trump is a bully, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet till Tyrannosaurus Regina gets her 77%-+-carbon-tax chance to bully.

        • Impeached? Hopefully, assuming the system is still functioning well enough for that by then.

          Then you get Pence the Dominionist. Less harm in the short term, and at least there’s something that resembles the US afterwards, even if it is the US of 1917 not 2017. Or Idaho when he was Governor, before he got chucked out. At least Gays will get a fair trial, even if they won’t be allowed to work for the government, or any firm doing business with the government. Executive order 10450 will be reinstated.

          Unconstitutional? Depends on the new SCOTUS conservatives, but in any case,it will take years to work its way through the courts.

          You can beat the rap, but not the ride.

          There will likely be hundreds of similarly unconstitutional executive orders from Trump to work through before this new one gets a look in, probably not before a second term.

    • Seriously? In junior high, a student I truly detested–a bully, a jerk—played an embarrassing practical joke on the most pompous teacher we had. He got suspended, and when he returned, he was briefly a hero. It’s pretty basic.

    • Even reading through these posts, and even though people know that something is not quite right about Trump, he appears on the scene as a disrupter, a welcome disrupter, an ugly man and a throwback to everything that was pushed away and vilified; as a ‘chaos’ or the prospect of a radical change when no one knows what direction to turn. I am thinking of that very interesting article posted here by Lucky.

      I think one has to begin to think a little social-psychologically here, and perhaps to get into the symbolisms, which are considerable.

      Searched under Pepe the Frog: this surly upsetter of the norms and the wrench that gets thrown into the mechanism. Its pimple-faced boys playing in their memes who come up with Pepe. Somewhat different from the mediumship of adolescent girls, this is boy-magic.

      I can’t help but think of Big Chief from One Flew Over. The silent seer. The one who faked deafness but who sees everything, but sideways. Whose very seeing is rebellion because he sees from outside any power-system.

      Its bizarre but ‘Kek’, an Egyptian deity with layers of meaning, can be seen as the event of chaos that heralds ‘light’ and possibly change. I get the sense of people weighing a gamble: They know it is like turning the Wheel of Fate but who can say where it will land?

      But what opposes that choice is an Emblem of the most repelling systemic corruption and convention, in the dis-guise of someone’s momentary lucid mother who, as seems to be the case, likely has some dread disease.

      There is a whole string of KEK symbolism and pseudo-synchronicity that you can discover by a search, but it is too strange to link to.

      Animal symbols, such as the amphibious frog and toad, rather repelling and ‘ugly’ would seem to conceal unrecognized (unconscious) parts of the won self. This is constent with what some people are saying, even here: A repelling person, froggy and ugly, who yet has some special appeal.

      Even if he does not get the election, I think it fair to say that *people* are calling forth a herald of change.

      “The unconscious, on the other hand, is typically symbolized in dreams by darkness, water, and the soil/underground. These three environments have probably become symbols of the unconscious because they are not the natural habitat of human beings–at least in our conscious state. All three require some type of artificial device (a lamp in darkness, caves, mines, and goggles when swimming under water) in order for us to navigate through them with ease. Animals whose natural habitats include both the light/aboveground and the dark, water, or underground are symbolic of entities that can serve as guides to the unconscious, for they reflect the fundamental nature of the Self. The Self knows both the light and dark, the surface and hidden, the conscious and unconscious aspects of our being. Examples of animals that are frequently used as symbols of the Self include: snakes, owls, ducks, swans, geese, frogs, turtles, and occasionally bugs and bees.”

      —DR Andy Drymalski, Jungian

  8. Jack,
    I would absolutely LOVE to hear your thoughts on John Oliver’s newest rant regarding this election seasons’ many scandals. He compares Hillary to Trump and (surprise, surprise) Donald comes up the loser. It was especially interesting the way he just skipped past Whitewater and Benghazi as “resolved.”


  9. I find myself doing the same thing, and I detest Trump. It makes me feel dirty, but I can’t seem to help myself.

    Then again, the thought of a President Clinton makes me just a little nuts. This election has no redeeming quality — it is an oppressive event, like watching an aircraft crash in slow motion. Only in this case, the victim is our republic, and both candidates are trying to auger the thing into the ground.

    • Didn’t someone share a link about this year’s election being a “United Flight 93 election?” (Am probably imagining, and saw the link elsewhere.)

        • Is that the analogy comparing Trump voters to the heroes who stopped the terrorists from hitting the White House?

          Yeah, that’s pretty much the grossest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

          • You ain’t seen nuthin yet should Trump get in. How do you think he’d deal with “the co-founders of ISIS”? As President or CEO of US inc, the law is whatever he says it is, at least until the courts overturn it as blatantly illegal in months or years.

            Remember how Trump regards the law of contract, and how he’s always treated subcontractors. It’s whatever you can get away with, and with sufficient delays, the courts won’t be able to keep up, and penalties never get extracted.

            Start with an executive order prohibiting federal resources from being used to challenge executive orders, and another which defunds any enforcement actions. All perfectly legal, even if constitutionally questionable at the very least.

            • “As President or CEO of US inc, the law is whatever he says it is, at least until the courts overturn it as blatantly illegal in months or years.”

              If so, he would be following the precedent set by the current POTUS over the last 8 years, despite warnings to he supporters that exactly this was a possibility.

              As so much involving Trump, I don’t want it to happen, but it would serve many of the victims right.

            • Zoe, You and others keep bringing up subcontractors and non-payment. If I don’t pay a sub they can file a mechanics lien on my property. They can also petition the court to force its sale even at fire sale prices so that I can be paid. Courts of equity enforce contract law. If a lien had been on any of the properties they would have had to be satisfied before any transfer of ownership could take place.

              You said: Start with an executive order prohibiting federal resources from being used to challenge executive orders, and another which defunds any enforcement actions. All perfectly legal, even if constitutionally questionable at the very least.

              You have criticized dissent over President Obama’s executive orders but Executive Orders from an opposing candidate would be the end of the world. That’s just bias.

              Why would Congress just role over and take it. They could simply pass a budget act that strips his administration of most funding that he would use to promote agenda items. It was Congress that passed the law prohibiting the use of Federal resources to prevent the President from moving Gitmo prisoners to Federal prisons in the US not the other way around.

          • Chris writes: “Is that the analogy comparing Trump voters to the heroes who stopped the terrorists from hitting the White House? Yeah, that’s pretty much the grossest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”

            That may be so but as a ‘mythos’ it expresses an idea, a perspection, that is very real. But I think one would have to say it is both real and unreal. Again, some psychological sociology is required.

            The glue that holds American together has deteriorated. That ‘glue’ allows and supports a particular ‘narrative’ that is essentially ‘Americanism’. I do not see how anyone could contest this statement. The idealistc, even the *romantic* narrative of Americanism no longer functions well enough to unite the intensely opposed factions that make up America. There is a rumbling and a cracking sound which, psychologically, produces fear and apprehension. The ‘glue’ that holds together a specific *narrative* about America has come undone.

            Each faction, it seems, when it faces this uncertainty, grabs all the more strong on to its defining narrative. Take for example Lucky’s article, just above. That is the social, political and perhaps even the existential plan for a certain faction of person with a certain ideology. It is a radical, demanding plan of action. Yet what it recommends, or has nostalgia for, is so many miles away from what America, right now, seems capable of. It would take another American!

            But if you turned to the Bernie Camp and tuned in to their desperation you’d get a different version completely. This is a bizarre state of affairs all the way round.

            It is like an ‘identity crisis’ isn’t it?

          • “Whatever the reason for the contradiction, there can be no doubt that there is a contradiction. To simultaneously hold conservative cultural, economic, and political beliefs—to insist that our liberal-left present reality and future direction is incompatible with human nature and must undermine society—and yet also believe that things can go on more or less the way they are going, ideally but not necessarily with some conservative tinkering here and there, is logically impossible.”

            At the end of the day the ‘crisis’ is one that is centered in American conservatism. The crisis of identity is within that person, within his and her ‘political body’. It is time for the Cuck to have to really take a look in the mirror and to see to what degree he has been seduced. As I see it, this is precisely it. If one desires to be the meek and subservient conservative *herlper* of dominant hyper-liberalism or if one can actually come out as one who can define a position to Smash Cultural Marxism, is what it seems to come down to. The political and structural (constitutional) form is not the issue. It is that a people have been seduced. How to talk about it is actually a large part of the problem. To be able to talk about it means recovering language from doctrinal referees. There is a whole flood of things that require saying, and it builds up behind a restraining dam with increasing volume and pressure, but what has to be said is the stuff of intense social conflict. I say it often and am hated for it. But I believe it only more.

            To define a New Conservatism is what it seems to come down to. It has to have a more solid philosophical underpinning than it ever has had. The way to get that is to turn to the European philosophical right because what is needed are *ideas* and *definitions*. What this means, as I see things, is to reestablish and restrengthen European-White identity. It is self-discovery, self-empowerment, and turning against all the narratives that have been established to operate against it. It is taking a knife out of one’s side. It is getting into a fighting posture and to be willing to take risks. As activity, as choice, as decisiveness, it will not bring *peace*. But I think one has to face a certain fact: today, right now, the American (and the European) who can even hear this message, is a terrified, cowering soul. S/he cannot assert himself. He is constrained, shamed, cowered, disempowered.

            That’s Mr and Mrs Cuck for you.

            When someone comes forward into an American forum right now and says these sort of things, one is attacked with virulent opposition. The *look* one gets is of moral horror. And that focus of the attack is less on the ‘idea body’ but is focussed on the ’emotional body’. The force of people screaming at you that you are Wrong! and Evil! because of it. That will stop lots of people from going forward. But beyond the emotional body is the idea body. And the ideas that can inform a real shift to a real anti-liberal and anti-Cultural Marxist position are not so developed in American discourse.

  10. Donald Trump is the Eddie the Eagle of our time. Incredibly foolish, totally unqualified but you can’t help but admire his distain for the establishment and desire to do it even is he makes a total fool of himself.

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