To recap something I said on Facebook during the U.S. Presidential inauguration: why do American progressives always take a dump in their own bath water? Violent vandalism in the heart of Portland, Oregon, or Berkeley, California, won’t magically eject Donald J. Trump from the Oval Office. The business managers and owners, watching their store fronts get smashed, probably hate Trump every bit as much as the black-clad rioters doing the damage. Being a classless dick to your buddies doesn’t get rid of the President. Nor will calling for military coups on Twitter — considering the fact that Trump carried the military vote by a ratio of at least 3 to 1. Nor will parading through the streets of San Francisco with a pink crochet Chowder hat on your head.
The American Left desperately needs a reality check. Somebody or something needs to hit the brakes. It’s been almost three months of insanity, and not a single thing has stopped or impeded Trump. He was sworn into office, and he has been cutting executive orders like a corporate boss expects to cut executive orders. If you don’t like those executive orders, consider more carefully whom you choose to support for the DNC nomination in 2020. If you think the President cutting executive orders at all is bad, maybe this is a sign — to you, gentle progressive — that the American Right has been correct for the past 8 years; regarding Presidential overreach.
Now, it’s entirely possible that none of this is intended to have any real effect. The protests and riots are purely virtue-signalling, by an urban political bubble which seems to understand little else besides virtue-signalling.
Or, it’s also entirely possible that most of the people marching in Chowder hats, or throwing rocks through the window at your local Starbucks, don’t understand the first thing about American rule of law. The how and the why of getting people elected, or, in the case of Trump, preparing to de-elect the man in four years — by the book.
Probably, it’s a bit of both.
And the whole ugly carnival seems like a national progressive temper tantrum, wherein a giant toddler (called ‘Resistance’) takes a flatulent dump in its diaper, then proceeds to whip that diaper off, and begin flinging said diaper (spraying liquid sh*t, like with Spud’s soiled bedding; from Trainspotting) around its head.
That is not how a sober movement addresses sobering problems.
It’s the acting-out of an infantantalized sector of our society, which apparently seems to believe that a) it should always get everything it wants, every time it wants it, and b) every time it does not get what it wants, this is automatically Nazi fascism.
Look, I get how it feels to be burned by a Presidential election. I allowed myself to be extremely emotionally involved in the 2012 race — for Romney — and was rather shellshocked in the wake of Romney’s loss. It told me that the country was headed down the wrong tracks. I was uniquely unhappy about this. I was also unhappily aware of the fact that my emotional involvement had colored my perceptions, to the point that I wasn’t able to objectively evaluate what was really going on in 2012.
Suddenly, the shoe’s on the other foot — for the American Left. And I — as someone who filed a 3rd-party protest vote this past November — find myself spectating, in the same way I spectated after Clinton won in 1992.
Speaking as a spectator, I can say that the histrionics and violence typifying the so-called Resistance, is not winning over hearts and minds. Not from the middle, it’s not. Oh, sure, it’s playing well with the staunch Left, who will always treat an incoming Republican President as if (s)he is the reincarnation of Hitler. But For many people on the fence, or who reluctantly filed a Trump vote simply because they didn’t trust Hillary, or they were willing to gamble on an outsider getting things done, the insane caterwauling of the riots, the protests, the unhinged social media call-to-arms, is a huge turn off. Really, it is. Nobody likes a spoiled brat. And right now, the American Left is behaving precisely like a spoiled brat. Worse yet, any time anybody from the mouthpieces of the American Left — Hollywood, academia, the big media outlets — tries to call for restraint, or asks people to reconsider, and calm down, that person gets vilified. For failing to properly virtue-signal that (s)he is on the “right side” in this whole angry fracas.
Which is another arena in which the American Left is flunking: people often resent being commanded to display their colors. Remember how much Bush 43 was vilified for pronouncing, “You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists!”? I do. Now, suddenly, it’s, “Either you hate Trump the way we tell you to hate Trump, or you’re with the Nazi fascists!” If Bush 43 was excoriated for cramming the world into a black-and-white false dichotomy, now it’s the Resistance doing the same. Either you’re marching and shouting and screaming and breaking glass, or you’re complicit in the coming Trump Reich.
I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it: maybe if the American Left hates Trump so much, the American Left should not have allowed Hillary Clinton to railroad the DNC in the first place? Bernie Sanders probably could have carried Pennsylvania and Michigan. And if not Bernie Sanders, then somebody else. A younger, fresher face. A big part of Obama’s appeal — in hindsight — was his relative inexperience as a Washington D.C. power player. He swooped into the national spotlight, charmed people with some terrifically lofty oratory, and presented them with a chance to vote for Hope and Change.
The fact that Obama seldom delivered on either that hope, or that change, doesn’t matter as much as who and what Obama was, in both 2008 and again in 2012.
How or why people thought Hillary Clinton — the five-decade Washington D.C. insider with big money interests in her pocket, and a known record of duplicity — would be better than Trump, is one of those questions we all should ponder for the next four (to eight!) years.
I myself thought she’d win, simply because I bought into the same fable almost all American Leftists bought into: that the political fabric of the country had slowly shifted to a permanent hue of blue. Whether it was oldsters dying off and idealistic youngsters cramming their polling places, or people as a rule growing disaffected with the hardships of 21st century capitalism, or the rising up of the thousand different victim identities, there seemed to be little chance that Hillary Clinton would not be our 45th President. I said as much, throughout the tail end of 2015 and all of 2016. Even when my English pal Dave Bone — Warrant Officer, British Army — said to me one morning, “Mate, get yourself ready for President Trump!” I waved him off and said, “Impossible. Not gonna happen.”
Clearly, Dave had the detached perspective necessary to see the coming U.S. election with an outsider’s eyes. And he was completely right.
Now, what to do?
First thing, I think, is for the grownups on the Left to somehow talk their more immature, excitable compatriots into calming the hell down, and shutting the f**k up. Even if they’re all livid beyond reason. None of these protests, nor any of this social media activity, is changing minds against Trump. All it’s doing is convincing the fence-sitters that the anti-Trump crowd has the composure of a two year old, when the toys are taken away. Working Americans don’t have a lot of patience for that crap right now, and the longer it goes on, the more working Americans may throw in with Trump — simply out of fatigue with the anti-Trump crowd’s histrionics and hyperbole. Probably what happens is that the extremists on the Left keep evicting more and more of their moderate kin, such that the number of disaffected sorta-liberal media personalities, politicians, and voters, keeps growing. This only benefits Trump.
Second thing, look to the local elections. Who is your mayor? Who is on your city council? Who are your Senators, or your congresspeople? The Founders established checks and balances for a reason. Trump can’t do much, if the Congress and the Senate are firmly and wholly committed to keeping him under their thumb. But if the 2016 national election revealed anything, it’s that the DNC has become far too infatuated with the national scene, and allowed its state and city level apparatus to get rusty, if not corrode to dust altogether. Conversely, the Republicans — cough, Tea Party, cough — stormed the smaller offices. Eight years of Obama — to act as catalyst — combined with 8 years of progressives repeating to themselves the (we found out) fable of Permanent Demographic Majority, has left small-scale progressive politics at a significant disadvantage. Again, probably what happens is that extremists on the Left double down on national shouting, while local politics gets ignored. Getting involved locally, and with good effect, takes a level of work ethic and patience that I don’t think the American Left has at this point in time.
Third thing, who are the young, idealistic, exciting stars coming up the DNC ladder in Obama’s wake? They seem to not exist. Or if they do exist, they are exciting only to the Leftist choir already wailing about gender warfare, racial angst, homophobia, transphobia, victim classifications, and an insistence that the only thing wrong with America, is that the white middle didn’t disappear the way the white middle was told to disappear, during the Obama Presidency. This tells me that without a major wake-up call, the DNC is going to double down in 2020. They will almost surely run a woman — because “women were denied” in 2016. That woman stands a good chance of being non-white, or at least non-straight; to tie in with the identitarian nature of our fractured political discourse. And she will excoriate the “deplorable” half of the country with even more severe rhetoric than either Hillary or Barrack deployed. Because if the riots and marches tell us anything, it’s that the way to “take back” the country, is to call people names twice as hard as they were being called names before.
Fourth thing, wait for Trump to do something truly egregious, before cranking up the sirens. Right now the outrage is dialed to 11 — and kept at 11 — over every little thing Trump does. No, Trump firing Yates was not egregious. He was going to do that eventually anyway — all incoming administrations always clean out the AG office. No, the immigration thing is not egregious either, even if the executive order was messily done. Every nation in the civilized West has some form of immigration policy, and some kind of apparatus in place — to keep non-citizens from crossing the border and taking up residence without getting on the books first. Trump’s simply doing what he said he’d do, to try to put some teeth into U.S. policy. Leftists may not like it. But again, Leftists should have run a better candidate than Hillary Clinton. Hell, Leftists should have paid attention to the 2.5 million people Obama kicked out. Or are we admitting that kicking people out is fine, so long as there is a Democrat in the White House?
Really, one suspects that if nothing had changed about the past month except for Hillary and Donald swapping places, the American Left would be silent. Hillary Clinton would be getting toasted from coast to coast. The Pussyhatters would be giving themselves hugs for having elected Teh Furst Woman Presadent! Hollywooders would be lining up to bend their knee at White House social functions. The major media outlets would be daily running stories about the “new era” the nation had entered, where a black man and a woman could sit in the most powerful chair in the world. And so on, and so forth.
But the script was not followed. Voters — outside soon-to-secede California — stubbornly refused to perform as expected.
And all hell broke loose. It continues to break loose. We’re looking at probably four years of more or less perpetual breaking-loose.
Which doesn’t hurt Trump at all.
Take it from this tinnitus sufferer: constant noises will quickly get tuned out. For the sake of sanity. Right now, the anti-Trump din is getting itself tuned out. There is no modulation happening. It’s a 24/7 four-alarm event. People beyond the concrete silo of the “movement” can’t be bothered to listen to the endless echo chamber of hatred against Trump, combined with calls for bloody revolution. Especially since nobody calling for revolution has the faintest idea what (s)he is actually trying to incite. Most of the guns and ammunition, as well as military experience, are decidedly on the Trump side. The only reason the Resistance isn’t already a bloody smear on the sidewalk, is because the people on the other side of the fence are too polite and law-abiding to call the Resistance on its bluff.
We have a way for peacefully exchanging power in this nation. It works.
If much of the Resistance had not slept through highschool civics class, maybe they’d apply themselves to more constructive purposes?