Friday, December 09, 2016 10:08 AM
But what really bothers me is the end of the-world-as-I-know-it. Between the loss of habitats, shrinking species diversity, toxins and pesticides, we may well be able to kill ourselves off, even before we reach overpopulation, extreme global warming, or killing the oceans. Also, Capitalism has become a Frankenstein’s Monster—created by us, but too strong now to be defeated, even by the whole village carrying pitchforks. And then we go lobotomize ourselves, and elect a scoop of shit to the Oval Office—that was the wrong move. I know, I know—it’s too late now. But, ma-a-a-a-n, was that the wrong move.
The real question is—does having even the slightest hope for the future depend on a bad president? And the answer is definitely no. Trump, by himself, is a harmless, doddering idiot. But with the entire globe on the precipice—make that innumerable precipices—a Trump presidency is kind of gilding the lily. What, you couldn’t wait a few decades for things to go blooey—you want to see it right now? Well, if that’s what you were thinking—you got your wish.
It reminds me of a story that got a lot of attention when I was younger—in the midst of the civil rights movement, when a legal fight gave African-American kids the right to use the public pool in one southern town, the response was to fill the town pool with cement. That was the racists, blatantly cutting off their own noses to spite their faces. And we are living through something similar now—President Obama has ‘besmirched’ the presidency, so the idiot-half of the country has elected to fill the White House with cement.
Not that Drumpf was running against a non-white candidate—but he was running against a woman—and racism and misogyny are just two sides of the same bigotry sandwich. And Trump is just a tiny speck of betrayal and stupidity, compared to the decades of it that led up to the present.
Our problems go so much deeper than a Trump presidency—our problems are rooted in the historical chain of events that led to his candidacy—the rot of riches, the fiduciary mugging of college students, the neglect of our most precious resource—the very world we live and breathe in, and the voluntary insertion of millions of heads up millions of asses, begun by reality TV and brought to fruition by Twitter. The list of bad-turns American society has made goes on and on.
The smart youngsters of this world are looking for the next big thing—they look at America and they see an empire drowning in its own decay. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that being the greatest superpower for seven decades has brought on the ‘absolute corruption’ of the old adage. And we must admit that America was never the land of hearts and flowers that its cheerleaders would have us see it as. America, the idea, was great—is great—but America, the place, is full of people: rich, thoughtless people, poor, bitter people, ignorant, hateful people, and a few good eggs.
You don’t, as a nation, ‘come back’ from a President Trump—he is more than a problem that ‘popped up’—he is a symptom of a deep, deep sickness that has matured over decades. You cut your losses and go looking for a new beginning, somewhere else or somehow else. The ‘light of the world’, if it is to be re-ignited, is not going to flare back to life in this country—it’ll happen somewhere else. We are too busy hugging our past, and hugging what we have left, and hunkering down against an increasingly threatening government and corporate system. This is what the inevitable decline of an empire looks like.
Misdirection is the key—just as Trump gets the media to talk about flag-burning, when that is the last thing we need think about, we mislead ourselves by focusing on Trump himself as the problem. He is not the problem, he’s a symptom—his ascendancy is due to millions upon millions of Americans who are too lost to see him for what he is. Forget Trump—you want a mission? Go after whatever it is that makes us so self-destructive.
This nation is polka-dotted with high-ticket research and development laboratories—working night and day to find the secrets of science and technology. Where are the equivalent number of researchers working on social justice or humanitarian aims? This nation is blanketed by media—corporate powers that have taken hostage the journalism that protected democracy. Where are the new journalists who will report facts, without a leash? And how come the terrorists never go after the lobbyists? Do they respect them as allies in the war on freedom? And how the hell do lobbyists sleep at night, or look themselves in the mirror?
In the words of an old comic strip, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”