21.11.18

MILITANT BALNIBARBIANS.

Sarah Hoyt recommends Another damn analysis of Trump.
[Our President] actually represents us pretty well.  Yes, a lot of people would like America to be refined and dignified, drinking high tea with our pinkies in the air, talking about the arts and going to the opera.  But the truth is, more Americans would rather drink cheap beer, watch wrestling, and go to a monster truck rally.

They called Reagan, and GW Bush, cowboys.  It was meant as a term or derision by the rest of the world: look at those uncouth louts, dirty and dusty, making a mess of everything!  And then there was what most Americans thought when they heard it: John Wayne. Cool.

The truth is, this country has been disappointing the elites and aristocrats of the world from the very beginning.  Our presidents have been military men, true, but also actors, cripples, hat makers, peanut farmers, nuclear engineers (those last two were the same guy, by the way), drunkards, whoremongers… Adlai Stevenson once said, “In America any boy may become President and I suppose it’s just one of the risks he takes.”

We used to take pride in our ability to confound and frustrate world leaders.  We used to want a belligerent president who would spit in the eye of our enemies, stand up straight when visiting kings, and give genuine help to our friends.  And yes, a president who could go into any bar in the country and speak to whoever he found there as an equal.

Now, we want an erudite, sophisticated, cultured person to lead our nation, one who lives up the high standards of our country clubs and university faculty lounges.  Someone who knows big words, and how to choose a wine that goes with the meal.  Someone who understands protocol and never breaks it lest they seem ignorant and offensive.  Or at least, this is what it seems like we want when listening to the criticisms of Trump.

But I think that part of Trumps success is connecting with what lower class Americans want, and how they think.  Yes, he’s a billionaire.  But he’s unpretentious about it.
The pretentious, on the other hand: well, when they're not hectoring or condescending, they're patronizing.  "Democrats talk down to minorities. Shocker!"

Too bad if Our Intellectual Betters don't like it.

(Literary reference in the title.)

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