Old Geezers Out to Lunch

Old Geezers Out to Lunch
The Geezers Emeritus through history: The Mathematician™, Dr. Golf™, The Professor™, and Mercurious™

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A LIberal Geezer Emerges from a Funk.....

I'm a long veteran of mindful exploration, and when the hobby manages to stay this side of narcissistic navel-gazing, I've learned a thing or two about the workings of that oddity called the Mind of Mercurious.

One thing I'm aware of is that the old noggin has an interesting way of concocting its own stories. The stories it hatches sometimes ask to be called "truth," but close examination shows that pretty much every story contains a good measure of fictional story-telling. When in a buouyant, jubilant mood, deep looking reveals an inner story that is preposterously upbeat; and when in a melancholy mood, you'll often find an inner story with a rather dismal plot line.

There is no right or wrong to this, and I'd be the last to suggest that there is some kind of "power of positive thinking" dumb-ass self-help advice to be had here. It's just the way it is: the mind tells stories, and sometimes those stories are bright and happy, and sometimes they are dour and discouraging or frightening. Period.

Since Tuesday evening, I've been in as discouraged a mood as I can ever recall, a melancholy bordering on clinical depression. The catalyst, of course, is the election of the Orange Ogre. The depth of this melancholy has puzzled me a little, since incompetence in public officials is nothing new in the world, and in my lifetime I've rolled with Richard Nixon, agonized over Johnson, lamented over Carter, fumed over Reagan, laughed at W.

So why, I wondered, is Donald Trump's election hitting me so goddamn hard?

I've begun to see the reason in just the last day or so. The inner story I've been telling myself has a plot synopsis something like this:  "Fifty-nine million of my neighbors and coworkers and distant family members voted for the Orange Oaf because they like his racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, lying bullshit. My nation is full of bad human beings who don't give shit about anybody but themselves."

That's enough to depress anybody, I suppose, especially if you have believed that people are basically good. It's like waking up and discovering that your father was actually Hitler.

But in the last day or so, I've come to understand that while Trump is indeed a lousy waste of oxygen, quite a lot of his non-deplorable voters were acting on another inner story, the opening lines of which went something like this:  "Fuck Washington. My kids are drinking poisoned water, my faucets are blowing methane gas from frack explosions, and the goddamn bankers get richer while I'm working at Walmart for $7.00 an hour and can't afford health insurance."

The reality is that for a good chunk of America, Washington—both Democratic and Republican Washington—has betrayed them, again and again. They voted Trump because he was the one guy who didn't represent Washington, and they voted for him for the same reason Bernie Sanders gave Hillary a hard time, and for the same reason that Trump beat all those polished Republicans in the primaries. He was different. The others were all the same. And this time, anyway, being different was more important that being good or even decent. Hillary is a far better human being than Donald Trump, but she is life-long politician, and middle America knows where that story leads.

Pretty sure I'm right about this, because now that we're finally listening to those middle Americans, what we're hearing is that a whole bunch of Obama voters from 2012 voted for Trump this time; that a number of Bernie voters ended up casting their lot with Trump. In a race this close, that's the ballgame, folks. A Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren would very likely have won Ohio, Pennyslvania, Michigan, Wisconsin—and then my inner story looks much different.

So I offer something of an apology to the young Democrats, among them my daughter and some offspring of other Geezers. We had it wrong. I'm not sure if Bernie Sanders was the guy, but it needed to be somebody outside the box. If I had it to do over again, I would have hoped for Elizabeth Warren, who is as feisty as Bernie Sanders without being mean, who REALLY would take it to the banks and Wall Street, and who is scary smart. If the young democrats are shrewd enough to chuck the old school once and for all and nominate a revolutionary next time,  Orange Otis will be out on the streets in four years.



17 comments:

  1. Completely agree. Doesn't change a thing, but it's reassuring to realize humanity is not in as dismal a shape as it first seemed.

    And...about those four years. Is it OK if I hope for fewer before he implodes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope on. I will join you. Plenty to suggest that Orange Otis might be legitimately impeachable.

      Delete
  2. Geez... this one really hurt. Blue collar, plain speaking Joe Biden should've have run. Thinking he'd of had a better chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe. I think, though, that it's now time for the Dems to retire the entire old guard. Let them sail off to their government pensions and let our youngsters find new heroes.

      Delete
  3. Political skulduggery played a significant role. Comey dropping another few thousand bogus emails into the mix probably helped undecided's go off brand, and I doubt the cheeto puff had much to do with that. Elizabeth Warren will be Hillary's age next time around. The millenials need one of their own; I hope the one is found.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By election time, I think everybody was beyond caring about emails or even Trumpian groping. Could have gone either way, but the story is that 59 million-plus voted for him. Any way you look at it, a shocking thing that should wake us the hell up.

      Delete
  4. Some good points made above. Joanne is correct in that the FBI had some role in this, probably rivals J.Edgar's time.
    I dunno, I really don't. A year or two ago I would have offered what I thought valid, experienced advise. Now, I don't know.
    59 plus million people voted for this person. Over that voted against. It appears H. had over 600,000 voters more than D. Doesn't mean anything, under the current system.
    We are divided in a way that matches 1860. Communication, infrastructure, etc ensures we won't have a civil war, not with fire and brimstone.
    What we do have is two people, divided. So different.
    A confession: I can't say I fear for this country, because I don't really care about this country. If the state of Oregon was a country, I'd be fine with it. Grew up there, ancestors back a hundred plus years there, fine. But do I 'love' it? It's boundry, the Columbia, the Snake to the east, does this stop where I care or 'love' country?
    No.
    It'd be nice to see us come together as a people, that was something others would emulate, that did good in the world. I don't expect that under Trump.
    I don't believe in American 'exceptionalism', that we are something special, that without us the world would go into chaos.
    I think we're another country, among thousands, that have lasted around 300 years, the historical average, then changed to something else.
    Might be better or worse. Under Trump, it'll be worse.
    I do worry about a nation in decline that has nuclear weapons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fully understand your point of view, but the "Under Trump it will be worse" thing keeps me wanting to fight on. I do believe we're in for a tumultuous time of it, but tumult is often (always) necessary for change, I guess.

      Delete
  5. Your funk is part of a contagion. Women in my life-Lana, my daughters, wives of friends, daughters of friends, friends and former colleagues have an additional level of depression.
    Our system of "professional politics" is broken and Trump and Clinton were the poster couple. While many of us hoped or thought HRC would prevail there was still a concern that while competent and experienced, she would be more of the same. I wrote last year that Sanders vs Trump would be the perfect purgative, but like so many I didn't think Trump's reach would be as deep as it turned out to be. But his drive was also fueled by that group of those who are truly deplorable-the KKK and other normally marginalized cretins like anti Semites, garden variety racist, domestic terrorists and those who seem to be evidence that once we did lope around dragging our knuckles. There was also the hard change of going from an an African American President to a Mommy President. For many of his 59 Million voters that was just a change too far. Some of us abide change easier than others. That too was an under girding factor in the vote.
    Both parties are a bit in tatters. But as we have learned, in this crisis is an opportunity. If I were a political strategist I'd tell the party that hired me, the best way forward it make the center of your focus working women. Second prime focus would be under or un employed men. Their needs and concerns should instruct and drive party doctrine. That hitches a political movement that would be A) of real value and service, B) nation changing and C) unbeatable. Forget old ideological cores, special interests and old bases. Listen to the people and respond. That is true political leadership.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exceptionally well stated, Tom. I could not agree more. I just did not think Trump's reach would be as far-reaching as it turned out to be, and I did not realize that the general population was ready for a Bernie-style revolt. Live and learn.

      Delete
  6. I'm not sure it is entirely appropriate for me, an ex-pat Brit, to comment on your politics - except that your choice of president also affects the whole world in a way that is particular. Yet many people on this side of the Atlantic Ocean are also very worried about the future under President Trump.

    Having read the foregoing comments I can find little with which to disagree. Unfortunately, I see similar trends in the UK electorate over the result of the EU referendum. There seems to be a remarkable "ostrich-head-in-the-sand" tendency both here and in the USA (and maybe next year in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and France), a kind of selfishness that takes no heed of the future and the generations that will need to live with it.

    But how can one expect people, any people, to make right choices when all too often they cannot see that they need to get right first? How can one right off what Mr. Trump has said during his ill-informed, oikish campaign as mere electioneering speak and say that he will govern differently? One way or the other, he cannot be trusted. As for this side of the pond, post-Brexit, my inner story has a very dismal plot line. I say with all sincerity, "God bless America." Or as Tiny Tim says in Dickens Christmas Carol, "God bless us everyone."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tom. There will be lots of opportunity to comment on American politics in coming months and years, and a Brit is always welcome to weigh in. One of the things making us nervous is that nobody knows who Donald Trump even is....not even himself, I suspect, which is the heart of the problem.

      Delete
  7. I should have said, "How can one 'write' off......" - thoughts running ahead of fingers!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's a head-scratchier for sure, but Clinton has won the popular vote, and Trump didn't get as many votes as Romney from what I understand, so it's not as though there was a groundswell. I think too many Bernie supporters lost the big picture and stayed home or voted for independents or Trump because they were in a pique, and now they get to reap the whirlwind. Don't forget the Comey effect, as others have pointed out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will be dissecting this for a long, long time. What I do know is that we'll never understand what it was about as long as we discount and fail to listen to the logic of those Trumpites—inexplicable as we may find it.

      Delete
  9. You have been deceived and brainwashed by Crooked Hillary and the Liberal Media.

    It will take time but, you will recover when you find out that Trump doesn't eat live human babies and park in handicap spots as you have been lead to believe.

    Good Luck in flushing out your headgear.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm feeling the same way. Been in a funk for a while now. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse out there and, I'm not so sure that he will be out after four years. He might declare himself a god by then.

    In my opinion, you hit it right on the head with your statement below.
    "Fifty-nine million of my neighbors and coworkers and distant family members voted for the Orange Oaf because they like his racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, lying bullshit.



    ReplyDelete