- Feb 2010
- Where'm I At, Doe?
Ok. You have quite a lot of ink to spill about Trump, that's for sure! But in the meantime I'm still trying to figure out what your main reaction actually is to my litany--$22 trillion in debt, a trillion dollars a year wasted on military spending, skyrocketing education, real estate, and health care costs, the fact that we just got through waging a war of aggression in Iraq that cost 6 trillion dollars and a half-million lives (that's one i hadn't gotten around to yet), the fact that we have only 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners (another chestnut I was saving up), the more and more universally dire news coming in about the climate . . . your reaction to all these alarming metrics seems to be, ok, don't ignore it, but don't worry too much about it either, because Trump is a much bigger immediate problem, and my "catastrophizing" about these generally accepted and uncontested facts could lead to his re-election.No, Trump's re-election wouldn't in and of itself be a "catastrophe." Nuclear war would be a catastrophe. Complete economic collapse would be a catastrophe. Four more years of mainstream media circus would not in and of itself be a "catastrophe" compared to those things.
If Trump is truly in and of himself a "catastrophe," what exactly is that catastrophe? Just that he's a Republican? He was an anti-Koch Republican the GOP establishment did not want. So that's not it. Because his tweets are a national embarrassment? That's not a "catastrophe." Because he's destroying the economy? Well not exactly, at least at this point. The economic indicators are not catastrophic since his election. But is the economy about to collapse? Who knows? That requires a very bold prediction that I doubt you are I are so prescient to be able to make. Is it because he's a populist that disrupts global stability? That's a more interesting possibility, but it hasn't resulted in any actual real world catastrophe. Would it, with another 4 years? That requires another very bold speculative prediction. Maybe Trump creates a higher risk of catastrophic destabilization, but if Trump were really a catastrophe waiting to happen, wouldn't more of society be in emergency management mode, stockpiling supplies and so forth?
The more anyone feeds into their respective side's exaggerative rhetoric, the more it perpetuates tribalist thinking that is detached from reality, and the more it promotes extremist attitudes, including some who work themselves up into such a state of agitation that they've decided they'd be happy to set things ablaze (at least figuratively, sometimes literally), because they think hell, at least setting it ablaze will cause something to change. These attitudes, which are motivated by mythical or delusional thoughts and feelings about horrible society and/or government are, are not good for the country.
If that's your position, and I promise I really am trying to paraphrase you fairly here, it does occur to me that the centrist perspective is surely to accept the fact that Trump won fair and square in a legitimate election and, since the centrist thing to do is accept that we have a two-party system, he stands an unadjusted 50 percent chance of winning re-election? I mean that's our system and the centrist thing to do is trust it to yield basically acceptable results, right?