Once More, the Question of Veracity

by Jay Nordlinger

Impromptus today starts with Che Guevara and ends with Richard Pipes: someone who devoted his life to Communism and tyranny, and someone who devoted his to opposing those things. In between, I have President Trump, among other subjects.

Back in June, I wrote a post titled “A Separate Question: Veracity.” The gist was this: Many people say that Trump’s tweets are “inappropriate” and “unpresidential” and so on. But are they true? Doesn’t that matter, too? Whether the president tells the truth?

Was “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” “bleeding badly from a face-lift” or not? Did “Liddle’ Bob Corker” decline to run for reelection when Trump refused to endorse him or not? According to Corker, Trump assured him repeatedly that he would endorse him for reelection.

Someone’s lying here. Is it the president or the senator? Does it matter? I think it does, and this is a fault line: There are many, many people who simply don’t care.

To be continued, for sure …

P.S. In Impromptus, I also mention the Nobel prizes — which may be headed for a fall. Why? “Diversity.” For the last two years, there have been no women among the laureates. And this has occasioned comment and concern. So, the various committees will meet this winter “to discuss gender and ethnic diversity issues,” according to a report. (By the way, three of the six committees are currently chaired by women.)

This is bad news bears. If the prizes are suspected of taking sex, ethnicity, and race into account, they are degraded. And the honor of some winners is dimmed. Plus, the testator, Alfred Nobel, would be seriously ticked.

I know him a little — got to know him well, in fact, when I wrote my history of his prizes. He was a man of great liberality, universality, and humanity. His thinking was rigorous and his standards were high.

In his will (1895), he wrote the following, which may seem quaint today, but which is full of meaning: “It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not.”

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