(NOTE: I wrote this back on 5/4/16 and saved it as a draft and never posted it. Not sure why but I kinda like it so I’m going to post it now.)
When I first started blogging back somewhere around 2002 or 2003 I thought I would mostly use the blog as a way to encourage myself to do some creative writing. That was my purpose when I started that first blog. What ended up happening was I wrote about politics…most of the time. That had NOT been my plan, but things happened back then that were shocking and the American response to those things was often disappointing to me, but sometimes glorious. But after almost ten years of shouting to the rafters I got spiritually and intellectually exhausted. I got tired of how people in general seemed to be gravitating more and more to over-simplified, easy, ego-satisfying answers that required absolutely no research or intellectual effort on their part. I got tired of how often people were seduced by the dubious comfort of black and white ideas and messages. Don’t get me wrong…I totally understand it. I mean I’m a sober alcoholic, trust me when I say I really know the temptation of instant gratification and chasing a quick fix for whatever ails you. But along with that I have a pretty up close and personal experience with the cost of that sort of thinking and living. There are no easy answers. There are no quick fixes. Anyone who tells you different is lying to you.
So here we are in 2016 during one of the most astounding Presidential election cycles I have ever witnessed. Possibly it will go down in history as one of the most astounding of ANY Presidential election cycles in this country ever. One of the things I keep seeing repeated by average people (as opposed to professional political commentators) on social media who may or may not support Donald Trump, but who are clearly on the politically conservative side of the ballgame, is the opinion that while Trump is clearly unreliable, inconsistent and often batshit crazy he’s a direct result of the last eight years of this particular segment of American society feeling ignored, disregarded and/or forced to adhere to laws that they find morally antithetical to their core beliefs. They seem to then declare that there is so much support for Trump because they honestly think he will do something powerful and good for the country OR that he will destroy the entire thing and that might be OK with them. I find this curious. First off I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how anyone thinks this trend started eight years ago. I have to go back at least fifteen years to find a time when I wouldn’t have believed that well meaning, intelligent, educated conservatives would buy into this level of delusion. The delusion I’m speaking about isn’t Trump or any of his promises…it’s the delusion that America can’t be destroyed. It can. As a matter of fact absolutely NO ONE could destroy it faster than we can. When I hear/read people say things such as, “Yeah Trump is crazy most of the time but I just feel like it’s time to burn the whole thing down” it sounds just like the 19 year old kid who declares that he will love it when anarchy finally rules the world…because they always say that right before they put their headphones back on and pick up their Xbox One controller and un-pause their video game. It’s easy to say that shit when you have no real belief it will happen. You think putting a crazy guy in the White House won’t affect your ability to drive to the grocery store with money in your pocket assured that there will be food there for you to purchase. But it will. You think putting a crazy guy in the White House will solve your frustrations with politics and culture and religion…that it will ease your fears about the economy and foreign aggression. But it won’t. Trump is just the direct result of the constant desire for easy answers, the comfort of black and white thinking, the simplicity of declaring an easy to identify enemy.
There have been some truly brilliant Conservative members of our government over the years. Thoughtful, educated, sincere, hard working Conservative members of Congress who have governed well, who understood that their job was to keep the machine running so Americans could live their lives. There have been some truly brilliant Liberal members of our government over the years. Thoughtful, educated, sincere, hard working Liberal members of Congress who have governed well, who understood that their job was to keep the machine running so Americans could live their lives. There was a time when both Liberals and Conservatives worked hard for the people they represented and for the Country as a whole. They worked together, fought with each other, they agreed and disagreed with great honor and respect. For much of our modern history, it has been from that pool that we have found our Presidential candidates. Not exclusively, but for the most part, that’s been a reliable resource. Smart folks who are dedicated and know what it means to work at that level. But I feel safe saying that we, the American people addicted to quick fixes, easy answers and simple solutions, have spent the last fifteen or so years making it virtually impossible for anyone that fits the description above to even WANT to continue in public service in our government. Too many of our best have quit arena…because it’s a losing proposition.