Thursday, November 17, 2016
The Revenge of the Common Man
Other than as satire perhaps I will not be writing about American Politics in this blog for a long time. I decided I wouldn't do so earlier, after the failure of the Sanders campaign wherein I believe lay our final hope to restore America to something approaching the state we once knew it. (In the light of this, I see Trump's slogan Make America Great Again as some sort of macabre joke.) After The Sanders campaign I thought I was reluctantly ready to accept another mediocre administration under Hillary Clinton to mark the gradual toll of our national decline. I say this acknowledging it doesn't give Hillary Clinton the benefit of the doubt. She may have proved our fears unfounded regarding her complicity with big business against the common man. She may have had a great administration. We will never know.
Normally I do my best to be diplomatic but the election of Donald Trump, with a Republican congress and the ability to form another reactionary Supreme Court is a national disaster. Those who bought the ludicrous assertion that this arrogant, boorish, immoral, impious, sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, divisive, authoritarian, narcissist is a populist should be relegated to the infernal regions of hell reserved for the willfully and utterly insane. Apparently a vast number of Americans are absolutely incapable of distinguishing a populist from a demagogue, if they even know what those terms mean. The results of their elections of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, do not even phase their certainty that they understand the the world we live in. They do not, not the first thing. After choosing such leaders they should crawl into a hole somewhere on election day in shame rather than go out to vote.
This desire for a return to the past when America was a far better nation to live in is perfectly understandable. We would all like to return to a simpler age, but that isn't possible, and those who think Trump can perform this miracle are those who adamantly refuse to admit that that decline is based on the very racist, militaristic, union busting, tax cutting agenda they themselves have voted for time and time again. In short their idiocy is the reason for America's decline. In the notion of Donald Trump as populist they are just confirming that idiocy on a colossal scale. What they are advocating, whether they know it or not, is not a return to a simpler age in America, but to the dark ages. They are the modern equivalent of the followers of Savonarola.
Many of these people are, on a personal level generous, kind, and patient, but they are insufficiently educated to be making the kind of decisions necessary to conduct a nation in the modern era. Their lack of education isn't shameful or insurmountable, but furthermore they often have outright contempt for education. Thus they act simply through blind emotion rather than reason. Such a vehement opposition to Donald Trump they can't seem to understand because they can't see that educated people are terrified by of a Trump administration. As a result they think educated people are wicked. They want to be equal to the educated, and they are equal to them... In the words of The Declaration of Independence, a document that arose from the secular humanism they so detest, all men are created equal. They only perceive themselves as unequal due to their profound insecurity and so can't see that the educated are actually advocating for their interests.
Connecticut, Vermont Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, California and the of the highly educated states consistently vote for the policies and programs that would improve their lives vastly, but in their imbecility they think those people are their enemy and they very people who have brought them to the sorry state of their present lives they are determined to see as being on their side. We must have the only country in history where out of sympathy, and just plain economic practicality, the educated vote for the working class and the working class votes for the wealthy whom they believe are populists. It's madness. Rather than feel inferior to those wicked secular humanists they'd tear civilization down out of spite. They would rather be leaders in hell than followers in heaven.
That desire for equality is also perfectly understandable but the underlying condition we are all are fighting, that of either nature's or God's unequal distribution of intellectual gifts cannot be remedied. Those whom they hate so bitterly are products of the very universities where they aspire to send their children. They think they are just as capable of governing as the intellectual elite and should be equally allowed to do so. But in order to survive they must accept that in the context of nations they need intelligent people to lead them in order to compete against other nations who so appoint the intelligent of their own societies. They see no contradiction in this, or they refuse to see any, because it hurts their little egos, and so the nation must teeter decade after decade on the brink of collapse.
I hope those who elected Donald Trump fully enjoy their final victory over the "educated elite," because their victory will likely be their utter downfall. They will revel in their feelings of personal vindication while this once great nation declines into oblivion and they will have insufficient self-awareness to know their real motivations and insufficient humility to admit they are responsible for a political disaster, just as they refused to so many times before. It is here that lies something we do not discuss out of diplomacy but national disaster overrides etiquette. The plain fact is that their is a gigantic disparity in intellect among mankind.
Those of low intelligence are not inferior, and they should have rights exactly equivalent to the intelligent but they should not be allowed to lead the nation. To allow it is to court disaster and we have been courting it casanova courted his lovers for decades.
In the end we are all products of the struggle to survive and our consciousness is divided, enabling us to do things which our reason and more humane selves would not allow us to do, such as to make war. They unintelligent differer from the intelligent, in their frustration level; in the speed to which they resort to the emotional side of their being rather than to the rational, and the degree to which we can stave off our demons through reason is the degree to which we can not only prosper but survive in modern civilization.
The state of the world is merely a reflection of the state of our souls. In the end I love the people who voted for Donald Trump because ultimately we are all baffled by life, we are all incapable of even fathoming, much less overcoming, the complexity of existence. The only difference is the degree in which we are baffled. I wish those who voted for Trump well. I hope Donald Trump actually is the person they think he is, because if not the damage he can do to our world cannot be over estimated. Tragically the paramount thing people are most incapable of is understanding themselves. It is hardest for all of us to look in the mirror, right wing and left, myself included. I know this essay seems arrogant. It is merely stating what I believe to be true, and which is to some degree self evident. Yet all of us are groping through life which I well know, and which is the only reason I've bothered with any of this over the years. We're all just human trying to cope with a very difficult situation in this world, and so it is more in sorrow than in rancor that I go.
Copyright 2016 Brent Hightower
*Image drawn from source believed to be in public domain