This is where we are right now (Part 1)
It’s been a few years since I’ve written anything on this site. Life happens, and frankly I’ve had better things to do. But the last few days have been a bit jarring for me intellectually and that means now you get to hear my thoughts about it all. Or not I suppose, that shit is up to you. And I will warn you this will largely be a collection of unorganized and loosely edited thoughts that will extend over a number of posts and days. But if you want to come along for the ride, well, here we go.
First of all, this is really bad. The election of Donald J. Trump as the President of the United States is historically about as large an electoral disaster as the nation has ever seen. That’s not hyperbole. Terrible candidates have existed in the past. Sometimes they lose, a few times they’ve won. However, a President Trump could very well go down as the worst of the bunch. At the very least, James Buchanan didn’t have Twitter (or CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc., but we’ll get to that later). His stupid ideas and bad decisions didn’t invade the public consciousness in the way that Trump’s already have.
Which leads me to the most troubling realization I’ve had about all this, and a thought I can’t seem to shake off. The election of Donald Trump has shown that millions of Americans literally don’t care about racism and bigotry and hatred towards others. And they also don’t care about silly ideas and ludicrous assertions. Trump voters (not just his actual supporters, if you didn’t like him and still voted for him this is on you too) have clearly announced to the world that these things are pretty much fine by them. Why? Because, wahhhhh, we’re upset that things aren’t perfect for us right now.
The criticism of this line of thinking is easy to see coming. Millions of Trump voters will say that of course they’re not racists and bigots, that’s offensive! And sure he had some crazy ideas, but they just wanted to see a change in Washington. It’s not fair to label everyone as racists and stereotype all Trump voters as morons who want to build a wall. Blah fucking blah. Even if you don’t typically act the part of a dumb, bigoted lunatic you told us with your vote that someone who does can still make an argument for your support him that sits well enough with you to overlook that stuff. If the election of a man who had the full support of the KKK was somehow the “lesser of two evils” for you, than you’re a jackass and your opinion is neither valid nor important anymore. Your vote for Trump has empowered the forces of hate whether you intended it to or not. That’s not okay.
That said, there is obviously an undercurrent of anger in this country that was difficult to pinpoint and still even somewhat hard to define. And I’m struggling with this, because I don’t see what’s so bad about today’s America in the eyes of so many of these Trump voters. Realistically, what’s so hard about being like you, folks? Being like you has been a decent way to live in America for pretty much always. It still is. Virtually no one is trying to make being a straight, white, middle-class male in the United States more difficult. It’s just that a lot of people (including this straight, white, middle-class male) want to make it better for everyone else. Making life better for people who aren’t like you doesn’t automatically make things worse for people who are like you. That’s not how reality works.
And by the way, it’s not our job to understand this line of thinking. It’s not our job to meet them in the middle somewhere. I’ll get more into this idea later, but what’s the middle between bigotry and acceptance anyway? What’s the middle between make believe and the real world? Compromise in this case is for apologists. I’ll warn you now that I’m not going that route.
But anyway, I’m running out of time today. I’ll definitely get into these ideas and more a lot deeper in Part 2 of this “essay” (yep, there’s going to be a Part 2, most likely more). I’ll also touch more on an idea that I’ve long had about what perception of reality can even be. And then why I think that a perceived wrong against yourself, even if objectively false, is far more motivating than an actual wrong against someone else. There’s a lot to flesh out, but I’ll see what I can do. Plus I do want to talk about the political parties as they stand, and the media, and much of what I’ve been seeing online about how to “fix” what’s wrong with our electoral system. So stay tuned I guess…