Terrible news out this morning of the death of Angelo Codevilla, at age 78, reportedly the victim of a drunk driver.
It is hard to overstate the importance and brilliance of Angelo. … He was also at the storm center of key aspects of American intelligence and foreign policy going back more than 40 years.
See excerpts from perhaps his best ever article next.
Or take in this long interview with Angelo that appeared in The Tablet a while back. Sample:
David Samuels: In 2010, you wrote an article, which then became a book, in which you predicted the rise of someone like Donald Trump as well as the political chaos and stripping away of institutional authority that we’ve lived through since. Did you think your prediction would come true so quickly?
Angelo Codevilla: I didn’t predict anything. I described a situation which had already come into existence. Namely, that the United States has developed a ruling class that sees itself as distinct from the raw masses of the rest of America. That the distinction that they saw, and which had come to exist, between these classes, comprised tastes and habits as well as ideas. Above all, that it had to do with the relative attachment, or lack thereof, of each of these classes to government.
One of the things that struck me about your original piece was your portrait of the American elite as a single class that seamlessly spans both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Of course, yes. Not in exactly the same way, though; what I said was that the Democrats were the senior partners in the ruling class. The Republicans are the junior partners.
The reason being that the American ruling class was built by or under the Democratic Party. First, under Woodrow Wilson and then later under Franklin Roosevelt. It was a ruling class that prized above all its intellectual superiority over the ruled. And that saw itself as the natural carriers of scientific knowledge, as the class that was naturally best able to run society and was therefore entitled to run society.
The Republican members of the ruling class aspire to that sort of intellectual status or reputation.