In a world where the universal reaction Tom Friedman's byline in the New York Times is "Gott im himmel, is that baloney shooter still around?", to be heard over the din of no one caring what he has to say about anything any more, these days the Mustache of Understanding must stretch himself.
And how better to really provoke the world into noticing he still exists than to break the hoariest, dumbest, most widely mocked cliche in American "journalism" out of his 22 car garage and take it for a ride around the block:
If I were running for president, I’d approach politics in the same way: not as a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian or a centrist.
I’d run as an extremist.
The agenda that could actually make America great again would combine the best ideas of the extreme left and the extreme right...
It’s time for a true nonpartisan extremist, one whose platform combines the following...
Friedman then ticks off what is basically a bunch of standard-issue Liberal ideas -- single-payer health care, gun control, campaign finance reform, etc -- under a layer of deregulatory frosting.
And finishes off with this:
That calls for a nonpartisan extremist for president who’s ready to go far left and far right — simultaneously. That’s my 2020 vision, and in four years the country just might be ready for it.
When future historians ask "Who in their right minds could have taken this clown seriously?" they should note that Thomas Friedman writes for people just like Thomas Friedman. Rich, useless dilettantes swaddled in layer upon layer of 1800-thread-count obliviousness who believed that the exotic opinions they cultivated in their insular hot-house of self-congratulatory billionaires and lackeys was an accurate map of the world.
And who used the weight of their wealth, status and personal connections to inflict their idiocy on the rest of us no matter how loudly we Whos down Whoville did ruckus and roar.