February 4, 2017

∴ It's Not So Much ...

It’s not so much my personal opinion of our new president that has me simultaneously outraged and despondent. It’s the similarity of opinion among writers whose work and thoughts I respect and admire that informs me I’m not only on the right side of history, but more importantly that current events are outrageous and deeply unsettling.

Chris Arnade: "we replaced that system with one based on schooling, building a playing field that was tilted dramatically towards anyone with the “right” education. The jobs requiring muscle decreased (many going overseas) while the jobs requiring school increased. Compounding the pain from this, we started giving the winners a much larger share of the profits.

 The early Trump voters I met were the losers from these changes. Their once superior status – based only on being white – was being dismantled, while their lack of education was also being punished. They lived in towns and communities devastated by economic upheaval. They were born in them and stayed in them, despite their fall. For many, who had focused on their community over career, it felt like their entire world was collapsing.

 As Trump gained momentum, as he marched towards the GOP nomination, his message started to resonate with these entire communities – including those that were doing well economically. Many solidly middle-class Americans have friends, relatives, or congregants who are suffering.

 More than that, supporting Trump has become a way of showing support for their failing communities. It had become tribal: entire communities were joining the back-row kids."

Paul Krugman: "America and the world can’t take much more of this. Think about it: If you had an employee behaving this way, you’d immediately remove him from any position of responsibility and strongly suggest that he seek counseling. And this guy is commander in chief of the world’s most powerful military."

David Frum: "We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. What happens next is up to you and me. Don’t be afraid. This moment of danger can also be your finest hour as a citizen and an American."

Eliot Cohen: "None of these traits will improve with time. As former Bush administration official Eliot Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, “Precisely because the problem is one of temperament and character, it will not get better. It will get worse, as power intoxicates Trump and those around him. It will probably end in calamity — substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have. It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment.”

David Brooks: "The danger signs are there in profusion. Sooner or later, the Republican Fausts will face a binary choice. As they did under Nixon, Republican leaders will have to either oppose Trump and risk his tweets, or sidle along with him and live with his stain."

Umair Haque: "Racism is ever present. It is always hidden even in the purest human heart. You have been guilty of it, and I have been guilty of it, no matter our color, race, creed. Let us just admit it now, if we wish to truly heal.

The real question is this: what are we to do with racism? We cannot merely extinguish it by crying “you are bad people!”. Thus absolving ourselves. For that only compels the racist to harden his beliefs, just as it would if I told you you were a bad person. It would activate all your defenses like a nine alarm fire. You would simply try furiously to convince me that you are good, and I am bad, wouldn't you? Psychology explains this to us very clearly. So treating racism as purely a moral phenomenon is profoundly limiting: we are left with nowhere to go when we make the mistake of ignoring empirics, logic, what we really know about bigotry and exremism — that it has a material cause. We are left impotent when we suppose that racism “just is”, because then we cannot unmake it, either."

Think on all of that. Can you argue any of it is fundamentally incorrect? No.

This has not been a “normal” succession of authority in America. These are not “normal” politics. Think back on all of what Trump said and promised for the future during his campaign. He’s acted to bring those ideas to substance since his fourth day in office. Imagine what he’ll try to do next, when Congressional Republicans join him and write legislation enacting his worldview. Imagine that, and resist.

#Trump #GOP #fraud #resist

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