Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Continuing Ruminations

I'm actually shocked, shocked (!) that middle-aged (and older) white guys in trucker hats think Trump is obviously the better choice. Of course, this isn't an argument. But the funny thing is, the Democrats have always said we were trying to turn back the clock. Maybe they are right this time. I have to admit that there is a real generational aspect to this whole thing. I'm 36. I couldn't even finish Trump's introductory 3 minute commercial. I get nostalgic about Nintendo games, and Matlock, not about an America that never actually existed. Call it liberal if you want, but I think it's actually pretty patriotic to realize that not everyone got a real slice of the American pie in the "good old days." Tell the truth, make amends, (if possible) and go forward. But there's nothing forward-looking about Trump. There's nothing reflective or self-critical about him. Can you honestly say you feel proud of what he represents? Forget about the Democrats; can you picture a even a grudging respect for the man from his opponents in 20 years? C'mon, man. To use "Trump" and "statesman" together seems like a bit on The Daily Show. I have said it before: I don't want Trump to win. Secretary Clinton may well be worse, but the Democrats never really have represented me. I don't expect as much from them. If that seems silly or unfair, I'm sorry, I guess.

"Abortion! Judges!" they shout, and though I'm sympathetic, we in my generation have waited our whole adult lives for Roe v. Wade to fall. I think it will, maybe even soon. Not because we poured ourselves out for the Republican Party, but because we have modeled and lived lives of sacrifice and service. Donald Trump may have glimmers of that inside, but let's be real: his life to this point is the opposite of a Christian life. Why, Christian, have you sold out so easily? The truth may well be that for a few too many people, church is just a cover for the maintenance of stability and (white) power.

This resonates with me as an explanation, not because I have some great fondness for Marxism, but because it explains a ton of the data points. Did Barack Obama get any benefit of the doubt when he made promises about subsidized health care? Trump did. Did Obama even dare suggest that Bush lied us into war? Nope. But Trump did. I'm not aware of any open advocacy of war crimes by Obama, though of course, some actions taken under an admitted framework of situational ethics may actually be war crimes. But Trump did. Do not kid yourself that Obama would be defended by the public at large, had a tape surfaced of him bragging about sexual assault. Trump is still the GOP nominee for president--although he is mind-bogglingly ill-informed, and otherwise unfit--because he is old, (the right generation) rich, and white. You don't have to be consistent or conservative, if you make enough of the right people believe that you are one of them, and will protect their interests.

This isn't to say we're all bigots, we have never had anything good to offer, and we should become Democrats. It does call us to a frank acknowledgment of present reality when it's staring us in the face.

We need to face up to the truth about our decayed political culture, and the unhealthy patterns of our engagement, before we can change it.

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