Besieged on all sides like at the 1565 siege of Malta, Donald Trump surpassed odds and fended off the attackers. Now that the siege is ending and Mr. Trump is settling in as president, the normal phase of petty inter-party (and intra-party) squabbles has slowly emerged. Squabbles are normal. They are part of democracy. So let the squabbles begin.
Thus reads the description for my latest video, “Let The Squabbles Begin”, published to YouTube on February 2, 2017. The clip, which clocks in at 9 minutes and 13 seconds, can hopefully be viewed at the top of today’s blog entry.
No sooner had I made the video than idiocy erupted in Berkeley. What began as a peaceful protest was ruined by what Berkeley police called a “group of about 150 masked agitators who came onto campus and interrupted an otherwise non-violent protest.” The estimated 150 goons were “outside protesters” according to a report by Inside Higher Ed. 
It is thanks in part to violent outside agitators such as at Berkeley that President Donald Trump is being driven into the arms of paleo-conservatives. That, and irrational hostility in the press and amongst the opposition members of Congress, leaves an actually broad-minded Trump nowhere to turn for support except the atavistic elements of the “right.”
In fact, despite all the irrational hatred of Trump, he is really someone capable of walking in both worlds. In this he is like Mattias Tannhauser, central character in Tim Willocks gripping historical novel, The Religion.
The 1565 siege of Malta is the backdrop for a spiritual struggle within the soul of Tannhauser. Born into a Christian family, most of whom are killed during one of the many wars between Christians and Muslims, at the age of about twelve Tannhauser is taken under the wing of a kind-hearted Muslim and goes east where he learns the ways of Islam. Then, at about the age of 25, he travels back to Europe and becomes a soldier of fortune. Tannhauser can therefore walk in both worlds – Christian and Muslim – but at heart he believes neither of the two religions.
“I came to Malta not for riches or honor, but to save my soul,” reads the inscription on a gold bangle worn by Tannhauser. And for the man of two faiths neither believed in, it is both sorrow and love, in the form of French countess Carla La Penautier, which may lead to his redemption.
(The Religion, by Tim Willocks. New York: Sarah Crichton Books/Farar, Straus and Giroux, 2006.)
——- Sources ——-
 “Amid Violence, Yiannopoulos Speech at Berkeley Canceled”, by Doug Lederman and Scott Jaschik. Inside Higher Ed, February 2, 2017. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/02/violent-protests-visiting-mob-lead-berkeley-cancel-speech-milo-yiannopoulos