Saturday, August 8, 2015

Response to No Lessons Learned

(See: Just Above Sunset: No Lessons Learned)

I saw it here the other day that Grover Norquist, the conservative who outrageously once said, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub", is worried about Donald Trump winning the nomination? And Trump is attacking Frank Luntz, the pollster of the radical right who helped Newt Gingrich overturn those insuffiently-conservative Republicans back in 1994? And Fox News is at war with Trump? It's almost harder to keep track of who's-fighting-whom on the American far right as it is on the ground in Syria!

As tempting as it is to be amused at hearing all of this, I suspect it should be seen collectively as a bad portent. The geometrically-regressive downward movement within the Republican world is squeezing the "moderates" out, and so if Trump runs as an independent, it will be hard to tell which party will be the third-party, his own or the Republican Loyalists left behind.

But before we Democrats celebrate that happy event -- which would likely put a Democrat in the White House -- we need to look beyond it and ask if our candidate got fewer votes, both popular and electoral, than everyone else in the race -- not to mention in the election after that? This likely won't end well.

Another way to look at this: The left -- now known as "normalism" -- has been winning control of American culture, and all the "anti-normals", being frustrated at every turn, are turning on each other.

Remembering that "autopsy":
Back in 2013, the Republican National Committee “autopsy” of the 2012 election concluded that to win future presidential elections, Republicans would need to be more inclusive of women, be more tolerant on gay rights to gain favor with young voters, support comprehensive immigration reform to appeal to Latinos...
But the Republican base doesn't want anyone, not even its own party, telling it what to think or do. The Republican base wants to be the one doing the telling.

Rather than try to "out-charm-offensive" the Democrats, all those on the right that make up the party's natural constituency are going in the other direction -- which makes a lot of sense, especially if being "more inclusive of women" means believing that we shouldn't be allowed to talk crude trash to them when we feel like it, or that being "tolerant on gay rights" means believing there's nothing wrong with fags marrying each other, or "supporting comprehensive immigration reform" means we can't call for building a huge wall to keep all those Latin Americans from crossing our borders!

On top of that, they are not comfortable with the party pandering to all those constituencies, by trying to disguise true Republican beliefs, just to get votes. In fact, they don't like it when so-called "mainstream Republicans" try to moderate the "national tone" by pretending there's nothing even wrong with abortion and gays and illegal aliens -- which every right-thinking American knows there is! -- which means they're tired of all those politically-correct leftists and RINOs establishing the rules of the conversation.

And thus, we have Trump. As Jonathan Chait was quoted saying here the other day:
"Trump is not the spokesman for an idea at all, but the representation of undifferentiated resentment."
One disturbing thing is that Trump's followers have no understanding, much less appreciation, of what a good president Obama has been. They can look right at the economic charts and not see that the ailing economy and unemployment figures starting improving almost immediately after he took office in 2009; they never cared to see the surveys of economists, both left and right, who agreed that his economic stimulus worked; they never heard anyone ever claim that Obamacare has been a rousing success, and was not a crushing job-killer (they don't travel in those circles), or that Obama's foreign policy has been anything but "naive" and a clueless and cowardly embarrassment.

And it's probably too late to convince them otherwise. They, like the man they've apparently selected as winner of that silly debate, don't really care about facts that contradict their beliefs, they just know they're "mad as hell, and not going to take this anymore!" I've never trusted people who thought that way -- that when the world is in the shape it's always in, we "have no time for tone!" -- which is why I never liked that movie.

But a scary realization is that all those faceless Americans behind Donald Trump are also all those trolls you see in blog comments sections (although not this one, of course).

And an even scarier thought, which we may just now be beginning to discover, is that there actually may be more of those Trump trolls throughout the country than there are of us "normalists"!

No comments:

Post a Comment

(No trolls, please! As a rule of thumb, don't get any nastier in your comments than I do in my posts. Thanks.)