from Victor Davis Hanson at National Review, The Bigmouth Tradition of American Leadership

The most creative artists always remind us of the role of irony and paradox — that great things can come from sometimes less than great men, that what appears dangerous is actually what is safe, what should seem good in theory proves awful in fact, what is supposedly proven beyond a doubt only all the more proves groupthink to be asininity.

Outsiders who do not fit — and perhaps should not fit in civilization’s status quo — are sometimes the only ones who can save it from itself. They possess uncivilized talents that are as critical in crises as they can become bothersome if not dangerous in calm.

The point is that it is hard to ascertain to what degree flamboyance and excess, even the self-destructive sorts, are integral to genius. And to what degree in extremis do we need to make allowances and exemptions for the former to allow expression of the latter?

For all his first-year achievements, an unpopular Trump is hardly yet an accomplished Patton or Truman. Nonetheless, we need to take a deep breath and concede that sometimes past mellifluous appeasement is more dangerous than present flamboyant deterrence — just as the sober and discreet can be more adroit in warping the Constitution through distortions and corruptions of the Justice Department, the IRS, the FBI, and the FISA courts than are the profane and rambunctious.