"We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo
This country is built on the European Christian model of punishment/reward/failure/punishment/reward/failure/success... There is always punishment before reward with the possibility/inevitability of failure, or reward and on and on. There are always winners and losers.
Everything is based on winners and losers. To have winners you must have losers.
To get to Heaven requires suffering -- followed by paradise or more suffering.
It is a system that fosters neurosis and mediocrity. Constantly struggling for success, always conscious of failure, the majority look for safety and most of the time never fulfill their potential or find true happiness. Constantly seeking safety, so as to lessen suffering for oneself and loved ones, allows for various neurosis to follow close behind. Consequently many, many talented, sincere individuals never rise to the top and a disproportionate number of sociopaths/psychopaths become successful: narcissists, bullies, etc. with no fear of failure -- they are the kings and queens.
Donald Trump is the ultimate example of a rank narcissist rising to the top. This country is ripe with others of much better temperament, intellect and motive for the office of President. Yet these possible leaders are not stepping up. The voters are not stepping up. Much of America appears to be disgusted with itself -- sitting disconnected, ambivalent -- surrounded by a dubious bounty and not willing to engage in the conversation.
There has been much talk about his presidency and its potential national horror but very little about the character of the country that elected or allowed him to be elected. The country that surrendered itself over to him. The country that is too busy to attend to the business of democracy -- a country that is too busy to fight off a proud rapist of the body politic. A country that has allowed unfettered, rough and tumble capitalism to become sacred/sacrosanct.
There has been a bunch of talk about Trump being a win/lose kind of guy, as if this makes him somehow different. What makes him different is that he is absolutely a one-trick pony and the one-dimensionality of his personality is on full display; it's rough and it's unapologetic. He is the poster child for an overwhelming amount of American culture. He is the avatar for much of American business, politics, sports, entertainment, religious discourse and advertising. He is the seedy side of unfettered American capitalism made flesh. He is the hero, the champion; spawned, crowned and denied by proud/neurotic/ambivalent citizens.
Mr. Trump is soon to be the national wielder of the public switch. He will attempt to punish us that he deems failures. He will reward those that he classifies as successes. His yardstick will truly be America's yardstick. His rubric will be the tenets of American capitalism.
Trump is the American Gollum or Golem. He is the woeful creation. To stop him is to pull from him what animates him. He will have a cadre of motivated minions and sycophants that will relentlessly try to shield him, explain him and fight for him. These folks and his slowly dwindling constituency are his lifeblood. The man alone truly is Gollum, with his sputtering, circular speech and his worship of shiny things. He is a man of clay as are most of his policy pronouncements. The only effective, creative way to combat him is by organizing and being a counterbalance, foil to his support system.
This piece was instigated by a conversation I have been having with a local friend about the looming Trump presidency. He is horrified, truly disturbed. We live in Texas -- deep in Trump territory. From our vantage point is very easy for one to become despondent, horrified. We know we should be doing something. We haven't figured out exactly what that is yet. Because of our age and our creative bents we're thinking in terms of something like the yippie/anti-war movement of the Vietnam era -- wouldn't widespread. Intelligent, message driven anti-Trump street theatre be great right now? I think 'we're not all bozos on this bus'.
The antidote to despondency is anger and the healthy way to handle anger is to channel it into something constructive. We can continue to just be angry and rant at each other or we can build a creative vessel for the anger. Blue America can continue to just be angry and rant or build a creative vehicle to hold and channel all of the progressive/liberal energy into simultaneously destroying Trump and building a better world.
This man needs to be rhetorically and politically squished like a bug and we can do it. The United States of America has very big feet.