America has become hideously complex; a situation that has evolved, like some perverted coral reef, as our economy and infrastructure and demographic make-up has become so vast and so Byzantine and so diffuse. I continue to contend that we may actually be at that point at which we have to ask ourselves if anybody can truly comprehend all the facets of our society, in the way that a president is usually expected to do. Certainly the arrested-development baby-man who occupies our White House now understands almost none of it and his actions prove that he’s totally unqualified for the job.
**Trump Apologists should note than no comment made on this site appears at the bottom of the page unless I read and approve it, so ranting about your boy Drumpf, here, will do nothing but waste your time. I’ll just remove the comments because we have simply moved on past the point at which it is even arguable that Trump can ever be an adequate president. He has utterly and totally failed and the only questions left to settle about Donald J. Trump are how long it will be until he’s removed and by what means. This post is about our future, not this momentary aberration and its little dramas.**
I think, in fact, that it may even be time to ask if a president is even necessary or functional at all, now, and start considering whatever alternatives are possible. Short of secession – which I see as the best and most practical of all the available solutions – we need to do something to become more efficient at governing…but the first thing we have to do is identify our Core Problem. And how ever egotistical it is for any one person to say they have the answer, I think what you’re about to read here is the real and absolute Truth of where we’ve arrived in our advanced cultural psychosis, why we are so profoundly divided, and why so many of us are shocked and appalled, daily, by the depths to which our government and our “Fellow Americans” have descended.
This is taken from my Facebook page…
“I know this is long and I apologize. If you decide not to bother, I understand but, the other morning, a FB friend asked for input about why conservatives were so poisonous about Obama, why they claimed to have been “miserable” for eight years, and what he did, exactly, that prompted them to vote for Trump. I applaud her real desire to ask and learn but I think she’s drilled a dry hole…
It is a smokescreen that the Right has erected – one of many – that the press and “liberals” and “the feds” and Obama and all this other roster of alleged miscreants and haters of America were at the root of their (supposed, mythical) “misery”.
This situation that we now find ourselves in is actually fairly simple, once you strip away all the rhetorical saber-rattling: a significant percentage of this country is white, middle class, conservative, resistant to change, and profoundly frustrated that they haven’t been able to get their way and make a conservative America permanent, over the past two decades. Bush was a disappointment because – and I can scarcely believe I’m saying this – he was always too moderate for this crowd, whose anger and frustration at the rapidly-changing sociographic and demographic make-up of America has resulted in their white majority losing SOME – by no means all – of the privileges they’ve enjoyed and badly abused for the entire history of this country.
As the many alleged authors of this quote have observed so trenchantly, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” That is the crux of the “Trump Phenomenon”. It used to be that being white, claiming Christianity (whether you lived according to its values or not), having just barely enough money, and never questioning any aspect of that culture, was enough to settle all disputes with your “inferiors“. Blacks “knew their place“. LGBTQ people had a clearly defined place: firmly in the closet, door locked and lights out. Any person from one of those lower strata who dared to demand any sort of equal treatment or had any gripe with their “betters” could usually be put down with a handy Bible verse, a white cop or judge, threats of what happens when one gets “uppity”, or that ol’ fashioned gay bashing that even I can remember carried ZERO social or legal consequences in my Allegheney Mountain hometown, in the 1960s. And foreigners – of any different skin hue – were presumed to be virtually beneath notice. There weren’t enough of them to matter and those who got out of line were run out of town, jailed, or shown the rough country justice of being dragged behind a pick-up truck full of drunken “good ol’ boys”.
We’ve overthought this “conservative revolution” unto grim death. This is not a revolution. The Bolsheviks had themselves a revolution. The French had a genuine purge of a revolution. This is a temper tantrum; a protracted hissy fit, being pitched at maximum volume by people so used to living one certain way that the very notion of having to shove over and let all those different people have a say in what America will be, as we go forward, has driven them functionally crazy. They’ve lost touch with reason, fairness, democratic principles, the Constitution, their religious beliefs, and the simple foundation of fairness and courtesy which has ALWAYS lain at the heart of why the United States has existed for 200+ years. We now have less than a third of the population dictating how the other 68% shall live and think and earn livings. And this is not at all because of a difference in political philosophy. It is all because they cannot accept the idea of change and are terrified that, if they don’t go along with Trump’s lunatic notion that creating a <1% stratum of uber-billionaires, who will dispense the occasional largess upon the faithful and unquestioningly obedient, they will become just another American citizen and no longer be the Alpha Dogs they feel they are entitled to be. They are horrified that they will live to see an America in which they have to actually listen when those “others” speak and demand fair treatment and they won’t be able to settle their gripes by pulling societal rank. Equality, to these people, feels VERY much like Oppression…and I, for one, would have FAR more respect for conservatives if they were willing to cowboy up, be honest about it, look the rest of us in the eye, and say, “I don’t like these people, I don’t want them in my America, and I refuse to accept this“, rather than spouting this blizzard of phony rationales and pseudo-philosophical rantings, and obfuscation and misdirection that is all nothing but a refusal to say what they know all too well would brand them as bad people. “Stealing our jobs!“, “Bad hombres“, “Carrying AIDS“, “All criminals!“, “They’re terrorists!“, my rosy red ass. Conservatives – as opposed to those who are openly racist or overt white supremacists – know if they say these things, there may just be real-world Consequences – loss of jobs, shunned by friends and business associates, loss of social status. And so we get this big sociological snow job of complaints about Obama taking the guns and rampant government spending and losing our moral fiber and on and on and on…and ALL of it just a mask for what’s really eating them: that they’re no longer sitting in the cat-bird seat of American life.
This complex stew of unfocused emotions is what the Trump and Republican strategists played upon and, whatever horrible things we may want to say about them and how utterly clueless they may be about to how to govern, they did that one task the way Paganini played the violin.
This is about the changing face of this country and what none of the Trump Legions realizes – and would NEVER accept – is that this change has already happened and is completely irreversible. In the US Census of 1980, whites accounted for 83% of the US population. In 2010, that percentage has shrunk to 72.8%, the fastest decline of the white majority of any 20 year period in history. This from The US Census Bureau:
“By 2030, one in five Americans is projected to be 65 and over; by 2044, more than half of all Americans are projected to belong to a minority group (any group other than non-Hispanic White alone); and by 2060, nearly one in five of the nation’s total population is projected to be foreign-born.”
There is NO way to stem that tide of change other than by a dictatorship, pogroms, deportations, and feckless notions like Trump’s mythical wall. And the success of any of those extreme measures would be predicated on white Americans being one homogeneous, angry, supremacist mass, which we surely are NOT. In the 2016 election, over 40% of all white male voters and a whopping 54% of all female voters did NOT vote for Trump, so we are not any sort of angry, homogeneous bloc for the Right to manipulate as it pleases.
Any conservative who tells you that this is about Obama’s “policies” or “America-hating Liberals” is one of three things: 1) so uninformed and gullible that their anger is an unfocused feeling of disquiet that they can’t explain, a conundrum they’ve addressed by reciting a litany of Fox News/Breitbart slogans. They may not BE stupid but they’ve disengaged their critical facilities in favor of satisfying their complaints. 2) As the Republicans rely so greatly on, many ARE simply people of low intelligence; wretched, low-hanging fruit who are so genuinely bewildered by why being white no longer guarantees them somebody to look down on that they’re willing to latch onto any ridiculous promise that offers a return to “the Good Ol’ Days”…that really never existed, at least in the form they imagine. Or, 3) Cynical political animals, seeking to exploit groups 1 and 2 for money and power.
I can almost guarantee that my friend’s question will go unanswered, as proven so graphically by one lady, Yvonne, who says “Let’s start with The Press…” and then is totally unable to articulate why she feels the press is to blame. That’s because this is not about thought or logic or reason. This is about fear and bruised egos and desperation and a completely unrealistic view of what America is – now, this moment, already – and their lurking – correct – suspicion that it may be too late to get “their America” back.