Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Amateur hour in the White House

Republican voters narrowly elected Donald Trump to be president of the United States of America last night. 

Hard to make much of an analysis in a state of shock, but just looking at the electoral maps during election night, it became blindingly obvious that the cities were blue and the countryside was red.  Like England's Brexit, the turnout in the passionately anti-elitist countryside overwhelmed the tepid turnout in the cities.

The party that has to re-think its mission is the Democrats, not the Republicans, as I had expected.  The Democratic Party has become the party of cultural liberalism, seen as sneering elitism by those in the countryside.  I think that is why the angry denunciations of Political Correctness were such a fundamental part of the campaigns of Trump and Republicans.  The Democrats lost the blue collar working class voters.  Those folks went to the Republicans with great numbers and enthusiasm.  They do not identify with city/university/media cultural values of cultural liberalism.  They gave the "elites" the finger.  As crudely as possible.  

But, like the British after Brexit, they are stuck with a man who is a total amateur in the White House, as are we all.  What have they done?  

Another big theme is that America, like much of Europe and the rest of the world, has chosen an Authoritarian to lead us. Why? A response to the terrorist threats from radical Islam, of course.  Terrorists only need to terrorize to win, and a Trump victory as president is a terrorist victory, a sign that there terrorism is terrorizing us.

Another theme is the rise of the Confederacy - more particularly, the Confederate Man - including some pretty dark parts of that genre including bullying, racism, disempowering of women, but mostly John Wayne/Clint Eastwood hyper-masculinity that sees problems as needing to be dominated and subjugated.  Law and Order in the U.S., military assault abroad, remorseless punishment of those who refuse to tow the line that they insist upon.  Bubba triumphs.

I think the country just went into a kind of mid-life crisis where the middle aged, pot bellied man (the country) buys a red sports car (or private 757), collects sexy models and tries to create a life of an idealized past (Make America Great Again) that exists only in the fantasy of the man who is losing his virility and is terrified of that.

But, but, but... we have a new president, and we don't know what he will do, and I am pretty sure he doesn't know either.  I certainly hope that the awesome responsibility that he is now carrying will have a sobering effect on him, and he will actually try to govern responsibly.  Sending him, and America, prayers...