Poor people in America applauded when Trump mentioned the estate tax being overturned. Many Americans are sheeple. If you believe Trump is a wannabe dictator, a lying inept con man, then vote his sorry ass out of office in 2020. Same goes with Mcconnell and the rest of the Republican reactionaries. You can’t depend on Mueller, the Senate, or the courts.
I’m beyond angry at Jussie Smollett. In a world where there are legitimate hate crimes not getting nearly enough attention and in cases have led to death, he decides with his high-profile status to make one up because he didn’t like his paycheck. Meanwhile, he’s given fuel for MAGA individuals to say “fake news” and actually have some more material on their hands to back it up.
Yeah, I’ve noticed that. They are so proud of themselves. Don’t forget Paul Ryan, he had this characteristic. A very smug look.
The alt-right. There you go. Hate is their motivator, Race is their religion. They worship this concept of the Aryan race. They take a DNA test and then find out they are not so “pure.” Trump enabled the racists to come out of the closet. They feel protected now.
The Myth of the Border Wall | Greg Grandin lays it out beautifully. We have ‘lived past the end’ of the American myth, shaped by the endless frontier.
For over a century, the American frontier represented the universalism of the nation’s ideals. It suggested not only that the country was moving forward, but also that the brutality involved in moving forward would be transformed into something noble. Extend the sphere of America’s influence, as James Madison believed, and you would ensure peace, protect individual liberty and dilute factionalism. As our boundaries widened, all of humanity would become our country. There was no problem caused by expansion that couldn’t be solved by more expansion.
But today the frontier is closed. The country has lived past the end of that myth. After centuries of pushing forward across the frontier — first, the landed frontier, then the frontiers of expanding economic markets and sweeping military dominance — all the things that expansion was supposed to preserve have been destroyed, and all the things it was meant to destroy have been preserved. Instead of peace, there is endless war. Instead of prosperity we have intractable inequality. Instead of a critical, resilient and open-minded citizenry, a conspiratorial nihilism, rejecting reason and dreading change, has taken hold.
A fortunate few, of course, still have access to something that looks like a frontier. Post-Cold-War globalization has afforded corporations their own endless horizons. And the fantasies of the superrich, no less than their capital, are given free range: They imagine themselves as living in floating villages beyond government control, or they fund research meant to help them escape death, upload their consciousness into the cloud or fly off to Mars.
But for most everyone else in America, the boundaries of freedom have contracted. A whole generation may never recover from the Great Recession that followed the financial crisis of 2008. Social mobility is stagnant. And there is a growing sense — as vast stretches of the American West burn, as millions of trees die, as the acidifying oceans fill up with plastic and as species disappear — that the world stands on the precipice of catastrophe.
The power of frontier Americanism had been its ability to take social conflict, be it settler-style racism or the demand for more equitable wealth distribution, and resolve it through a vibrant, forward-moving political centrism that could credibly claim to be an expression of liberal universalism. Maybe after President Trump is gone, that center can be re-established. But it seems doubtful.
Politics appears to be moving in two opposite directions. One way, nativism beckons; Mr. Trump, for now, is its standard-bearer. The other way, some kind of social democracy calls, especially to younger voters. Coming generations will face a stark choice, one long deferred by the allure of frontier universalism but set forth in vivid relief by recent events: the choice between barbarism and socialism.
I’ve edited out the theme of Trump’s wall as the tombstone of the myth, because I think what is left of Grandin’s analysis is true even if Trump had lost, even if we weren’t hearing about the wall everyday, even if Hilary was in the White House.
The stark divisions Grandin describe would still be there. Clinton would be facing a Republican Senate, unwilling to move on the climate. She would be working closely with Wall Street and corporate interests, and making the same sorts of hedges that Obama did: pushing mildly toward liberal policies while embracing the globalist, neoliberal economic system.
The nativist, populist right is rejecting the neoliberal, post-WWII status quo, and so is the rising socialist left. We are confronted by the inexorable choice that Grandin lays out, between the left-behind nativists and the push-ahead socialists.
I bet a minority will try to hold to the middle, but like the Mike Bloomberg’s pollsters found, there are few people who are economically conservative and socially liberal, even fewer are economically liberal and socially conservative. Moderate Republicans and centrist Democrats are fading away, washed out by a polarized electorate.
I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m for pushing ahead.
I finally met a live Trump supporter. (Finally, because they are somewhat rare in the American academia, effectively silenced, one might claim–particularly I happen to not know a single anthropologist who would support Trump. We can talk about reasons.).
He was a nice guy, a suave guy in a colorful tie.
He argued that every country has a right to protect its borders how they deem fit, and thus every country (including Russia, China, and the US) has every right to build the wall across those borders. Whether they should do it (he allowed), is quite another matter. There are philosophers (he said) who argued that people should migrate freely, and there is a moral ground to this claim (he said).
A very nice young man, a political scientist.
Nothing to object! To the contrary, I want to strengthen this argument: Perhaps all countries in the world might build walls all along their state borders. That’d be quite a world to live in. With people effectively divided: who is guarded, and who is a guardian. Who has a right to decide and who should comply. A safe, sound, well-regulated world with a system of coded doors.
That was the only Trump Supporter I met to date in person. I probably met plenty of others but didn’t have an opportunity to talk to any of them to find out their beliefs.