Weekend Reading: Publius Aelius Aristides Theodorus (155); The Roman Oration
Monday Smackdown: Oh Dear!

Should-Read: Charles J. Sykes: Year One: The Mad King: "Bret Stephens... sought to explain the capitulation of the conservative movement by citing the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz...

...whose book, The Captive Mind, described the process of how Milosz’s colleagues willingly submitted to Stalinism. “They wanted to believe,” Stephens said:

They were willing to adapt. They thought they could do more good from the inside. They convinced themselves that their former principles didn’t fit with the march of history, or that to hold fast to one’s beliefs was a sign of priggishness and pig-headedness. They felt that to reject the new order of things was to relegate themselves to irrelevance and oblivion. They mocked their former friends who refused to join the new order as morally vain reactionaries...

Today, a year into the Trump era, that description feels hauntingly familiar. Whatever their protestations to the contrary, Republicans find themselves in what has become Trump’s party, and they risk being permanently tainted by both his character and his anti-immigrant, America First policies. More than a year and half ago, Romney said the party faced a “time for choosing.” Apparently, the GOP has chosen. As a result, both moderates and principled conservatives find themselves cast out from a party many of them no longer recognize. Maybe it’s time to move on.