David Auerbach waited until Jerry Pournelle’s corpse had barely chilled before publishing a bizarre piece in the Daily Beast that links him, Newt Gingrich, and Donald Trump together. He did this by taking some passages out of a couple of Pournelle’s novels out of context and by making assumptions about space-based missile defense (which Pournelle and Gingrich favored), moon bases (which Gingrich has championed) and, of course, the border wall.

Pournelle smeared as a fascist and a racist

Auerbach smears Pournelle as a fascist and a racist in the same way the left does that to all people who are not of the left.

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He takes a few passages out of “Lucifer’s Hammer” and “Oath of Fealty” to suggest that Pournelle favored a libertarian society that would be well defended against forces that would attack it (true as far as that goes) but that it would be authoritarian and racist. How someone can be both libertarian and authoritarian is something that Auerbach does not explain.

How does Newt Gingrich enter into it?

Besides being a conservative and an old friend of Pournelle’s, Gingrich has touted Donald Trump as an agent of change.

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Since the underlining assumption is that Trump is “authoritarian” then Gingrich and by extension, Pournelle must be that as well. On a side note, Barack Obama is the most authoritarian president in recent memory for his resort to using executive orders to enact laws contrary to the United States Constitution.

And Trump?

Besides Gingrich’s supporting the president, Trump enters into the article because of his support of a border wall. Auerbach ties this in with a sequence in “Lucifer’s Hammer” in which the inhabitants of an enclave after the bombardment of the Earth by pieces of a comet ends civilization have to be choosy about who gets let in from the outside.

People with useful skills like medicine and engineering get to join the enclave. Television producers and professors of women’s studies do not. The answer to the question of who gets to live or die was just one of the sad truths of the new world.

In any case, the way this science fiction scenario ties into the wall are Trump’s wish not to allow criminals (say members of MS-13) into the country. He does seem to be more willing to see engineers and doctors admitted into the country, however. Why this policy is considered evil is hard to understand.

Auerbach’s real beef

A proper analysis of Auerbach’s article, with its wild leaps and twisty logic, would be hard to undertake. However, reading between the lines, one has the sneaking suspicion that he is mad at the two technological ideas mentioned in the piece, space-based missile defense, and moon bases, both of which President Trump seem to favor and the left does not. Defending against missiles from rogue states like North Korea and Iran and extending America's economic influence to the moon would be considered, by most, to be good things, however.

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