Just in time for Halloween, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman tried to scare people into voting Democrat in his column Wednesday. The text box: “Patriots love their own people first; nationalists hate other people first.”
It began with this highly debatable assertion:
Dear Reader. I think you know, after 23 years of my writing this column, that I’m not lazy. I always try to come up with fresh ideas. Today, though, I am fresh out of fresh ideas. More than any time in my career, I think our country is in danger. It has a disturbed man as president, whose job description -- to be a healer of the country in times of great national hurt and to pull us together to do big hard things that can be done only together -- conflicts with his political strategy, which is to divide us and mobilize his base with anger and fear. And time and again he has chosen the latter.
Listening to Friedman bragging about his “fresh ideas,” one harkens back to left-wing journalist Matt Taibbi, who has Friedman’s number when it comes to the columnist’s predictability and spouting of invariably wrong-headed cliches:
When a person is promoted to a top job in life, usually one of two things happens: He either grows or he swells -- he either evolves and grows into that job or all of his worst instincts and habits become swollen and just expand over a wider field. I don’t have to tell you what happened with President Trump. He is a shameless liar and an abusive bully -- only now he is doing it from the bully pulpit of the presidency.
Friedman insulted the President, the Republican Party, and Fox News in one sentence:
When you have a president without shame, backed by a party without a spine, amplified by a TV network without integrity, reason is not an option and hope is not a strategy. The only restraint on Trump is a lever of national power in the hands of the opposition party that can force some accountability.
Friedman took a line from Trump and reduced the president to an unpatriotic hater (never mind liberals who take loud offense when Republicans allegedly “question their patriotism”):
Trump once boasted, “I am a nationalist.’’ He surely is. And remember what President Charles de Gaulle of France once observed: Patriots put love of their own people first, while nationalists put hate for other people first. This is a time for every American patriot to do the only thing that can make a difference now:
And then, this paragraph:
In the midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone to a voting station to vote for a Democrat. I repeat: In the midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone to a voting station to vote for a Democrat. I repeat: In the midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone to a voting station to vote for a Democrat.
In case Friedman wasn’t clear the 12th time, he wants you to vote for a Democrat.
At least Friedman had the decency to hand off the second half of his column to a truly graceful writer:
.... I cede the rest of my space to President George Washington and the letter he wrote, after a visit to Newport, R.I., where he was enthusiastically received by, among others, members of the local Jewish community. It was dated Aug. 18, 1790.
Friedman also uncoiled an obsessive “Democrat” rant in May, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe: "Look, these midterms are soon to be upon us and I only have one piece of advice for people. You have to vote for a Democrat."