To preface this post, I don’t often talk about my political views, this is for several reasons. I don’t keep up on current politics, its an odd milieu of hate, narcissism, futility and general disappointment that I just can’t stay interested in. Also, it’s wildly divisive, and topics which are wildly divisive are terrible things to discuss on the open forum that is the internet because it invites a kind of vitriol, I simply don’t want to manage or moderate, which is something any responsible entity on the internet is forced to do. And lastly, or at least the last important one for me, my opinions change over time, and I’m far to conceited to have to look back and say “I thought that once?” Ok, that one was a joke, but we need those when talking about topics such as these.
That said, the current political climate is so heated, and events have been so astoundingly bad of late, that I can’t help myself, I need to put these thoughts down. Also I figure that a defunct blog that I haven’t posted on in over two years is an ideal place to squirrel this away, where not too many people will ever read it, if any. This post won’t have any catchy formatting, or funny pictures, and I won’t lie to anyone reading this that this will be the first of many posts to follow. I’ve made that promise before, and I’ve failed to keep it. Blogging isn’t something that has kept my interest for more than a few months at a time, and I apologize to anyone who has found my style interesting enough to follow, and hope for more content, but such is as it is.
I have always thought of myself as a left leaning center, I have always been registered as an Independent, have seen flaws on both sides. In other words, I never would have categorized myself as a liberal, simply because I didn’t know that thinking things like; Women should get paid equally for equal work, people should be able to marry whoever the hell they want as long as they are two consenting adults, or that people should be judged by their behavior, and not the color of their skin. I didn’t think these things made me a liberal, I thought they made me ‘not an asshole’. In fact I abhorred that title, railed against it because of the immediate connotations associated with it. Political correctness, and living in apology for happening to be born a white male are not things that I aspire to. I in fact hate these things, just as I hate the far left’s constant assertion that I should apologize for being an American. I love my country, and for as long as I can remember I have been proud to live here, and to fight for it abroad.
This election cycle has done far more than I’d like to admit, in curbing that pride. I simply can not wrap my head around the fact that one of my two choices for President will be a racist, narcissistic, misogynistic demagogue. That one half of my country is so fundamentally flawed, that It has effectively robbed me of any choice at all. Because while I am not a Hilary supporter in totality, I could not in any, let alone good conscience vote for this man. The very fact that a man that has garnered support from the Grand Wizard of the KKK, has not been laughed, or better yet booed off the national stage, and has instead found himself at the head of the Republican Party, astounds, and horrifies me. It speaks of a political party so broken, and an electorate so full of hate, that I struggle to rationalize in any meaningful way. And to all those on the right who on some level agree with me, or to the right leaning media that is so surprised by his rise to prominence I say, this is your fault.
Over the last eight years the right leaning media, and the Republican held Congress has cultivated an environment that a man like Trump was almost guaranteed to succeed in. For years, the right oriented media has stirred up extremely partisan rhetoric about the current president, while ignoring facts and recklessly telling their viewers that this president is against them, and a failure. Meanwhile, the Republican held Congress has thwarted nearly all of his efforts, many for the explicit reason of that they were his ideas. While president Obama has made several policy choices and decisions I don’t agree with, I have in discussions found myself time and time again having to defend him. Not because I always believe he is right, but because those speaking out against him do so, not with facts, or legitimate dislike of his policies, but simply because of who he is. This constant stream of attacks, and the Congress conveniently adding to the president’s ineffectiveness, has led to a right who is primed for rhetoric, and sick of a do nothing establishment.
Enter Trump, a political outsider, with a star presence, albeit it a shaky one (I mean really, the you’re fired guy is gaining the support of the American worker?) Trump has been feeding this angry slurry, telling the disenfranchised exactly what they want to hear. Using the established scapegoat of the current administration, and the political establishment in general Trump expertly tapped into a stream of anger on the right that has convinced people to vote against their own interests. Because, make no mistake, the ‘You’re Fired’ guy is not on the side of the American working class. He is the embodiment of the disconnected elite, who thinks a Million Dollars is a small loan. And yet, here he stands the head of one of our major political parties, a fact that American’s are going to have to come to terms with. How did we let this happen? How could we let someone so full of vitriol and hate rise to prominence?
The answer is simple, we have allowed ourselves to become uninformed, and have our opinions given to us by a media that is no longer impartial, or even beholden to facts. We have allowed ourselves to be fooled into believing that America needs saving in the first place. This country is not a perfect shining star, it never was, and it never will be, not because it’s bad, but because it is the pursuit of perfection, and improvement that make it great. It is also not the dark, and near ruined place that some would have us believe, so that we need some savior to come and make us ‘Great again’. America is great, despite, and because of it’s flaws, flaws that we need to learn from, not cover up and pretend they never happened. Because when you color the past with a rosy hue of gold, the present looks much darker than it is, and men like Trump can used that perceived fall to raise themselves up, and that is a dangerous thing.