2.8.19

THE SHAPE OF THE CIVIL WAR TO COME?

Process worship is dead, according to Ed Burmila, who is one of the regulars at the Gin and Tacos weblog.  Let's say he's not anticipating a peaceful transfer of the presidency.
It will get worse because nobody is going to stop it, or is even trying. It will get worse because this is what Trumpism has been all along, because this narcissistic fraud is the vicar of every American who has longed for someone to say the quiet part loudly. It will get worse because conservatives either agree with him or look the other way in exchange for advancing their policy goals.

It will get worse because the media learned absolutely nothing from 2016, and every time Trump kicks the ball a gaggle of a hundred reporters chase it, overanalyzing it, giving Both Sides a chance to opine on it, and asking customers in Ohio diners how they’d like to see the ball kicked next time. It will get worse because the default media frame for covering racism is, “Was this racism?” and because they still believe that congressional Republicans will surely turn on Trump with the next outburst because Republicans are people of honor and integrity, because the entire worldview of legacy media requires that to be true.
Well, no, there's no reason for congressional Republicans, or the tame kind that used to be the only kind on the Sunday shows, to spend all the time explaining that no, their intentions are not bad rather than pointing out failures of the kind of public policies I think the Daily Kos, Common Dreams, Gin and Tacos regulars would prefer.  Because there have been failures, and there are sufficiently many people, whether fired up by Our President, or not, who are no longer going to be hectored at, condescended to, or deplorable shamed.
It will get worse because the Democratic Party still believes that the mushy center is the place to campaign against Trump, that white votes are the only votes worth winning, that people of color or young people will never vote so why bother giving them a reason to, and that, in the brilliant words of Chuck Schumer, “for every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia.”

Except they didn’t, and they won’t, and now they want the Blue Collar Guy back. He will never come back, because the stereotypical “white working class” media caricature has lost his job and watched his city disintegrate and has no future, so whiteness is his last remaining asset, and he likes the candidate who promises to protect it. After all, implicit in every musing about Trump-loving whites “losing ground” is that being white means, and should mean, being comfortably ahead. It is the simplest explanation for why every racist outburst, far from being the one that turns Trump supporters away, makes them love him even harder. He knows what they want, and he will give it to them in the increasing doses needed to achieve a buzz over time, and if it gets more people killed in a synagogue or driven over at a rally, that’s mere collateral damage to people whose worldview is already based on the idea that every victim had it coming.

It will get worse because an entire generation of people under forty has already been written off to a life of lowered expectations and debt peonage—a generation that might get more riled up by the politics of Social Security and Medicare had they not already resigned themselves to the reality that neither will exist when, if, they reach old age. None of the relevant social, political, or economic institutions are undergoing an intergenerational transition of power; instead, Boomers have decided simply to stay at the helm until death comes, and since nobody except them has ever mattered it’s no big deal if everything burns down on their way out.
He's right, those early Baby Boomers who have held the presidency recently haven't necessarily been the most spectacular examples of probity.  But there's more at work.  Here are two quotes from two very different polemicists.  The links provide the sources, and I'll disclose the names later.  First up:
The Democratic party has spent the past three years vilifying and demonizing men and their “toxic masculinity,” and retailing the insane multiplication of “genders’ in a bad faith attempt to manufacture sexual “diversity” — with the net effect of negating all previous understandings of the relations between men and women. Newsflash: that’s not going to work, either.

The shriekings of “racism” aren’t helping much anymore. Few observers have missed the fact that the city of Baltimore has been run by an African American city hall (Mayor, Police Chief, District Attorney) for many years, with over a billion dollars in additional federal assistance. So, if political power is the answer, how’s that working out? Add some extra shrieking about “white privilege” to explain the situation? How does “white privilege” explain the fact that 86 percent of kids in Baltimore primary schools can’t read and 89 percent can’t do arithmetic to grade level? This, despite the fact that at $15,564 per pupil, Baltimore is fourth highest-spending per student of the 100 largest school districts in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Maybe becoming the party of a national race hustle isn’t such a good idea. The race hustle is wearing out its welcome in American politics, and the more the Democratic Party resorts to race hustling as its chief strategy, the sooner the party will go extinct. That is, if it doesn’t incite some kind of civil war first. Cue the cry, “That’s racist!”

Maybe there is a whole range of human values and human behaviors that have nothing to do with race — like reading to small children and helping them learn the English language so they don’t grow into adults who have to say “know what I mean?” every other sentence because they’ve barely acquired enough language skill themselves to know what they mean. Maybe there’s something called an American common culture that contains values and behaviors worth emulating rather than opposing. Maybe “multiculturalism” wasn’t such a good idea after all. Maybe ghetto culture is not such a precious foundation for a successful life. Maybe the Democratic Party should move out of the ghetto it’s built for itself.
Second up:
Trump said something that everyone who has spent any time in America’s cities knows. Many of them are poor, dirty, badly governed, and dangerous—often the worst conditions are in black neighborhoods and majority-minority cities. These combined phenomena create a feedback of “white flight” and capital flight, as businesses, the tax base, and the middle class flee. Over the years, things have only gotten worse.

These majority-minority districts frequently elect useless demagogues, who deliver little, other than the rhetoric of flattery and blame. Cummings and his colleagues Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) are all archetypal cases. Not infrequently, extensive corruption is the handmaiden of these politicians—Detroit’s Kwame Kilpatrick comes to mind. Trump’s message in recent weeks is straightforward: those who purport to represent these poor and desperate people provide little in the way of good government or service to them.

The state of America’s lost cities—Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham—is familiar to anyone with eyes to see. One boarded-up building after another. Crime rates that rival Venezuela’s. Police insulted and attacked by shameless young people. While government is not the sole cause of or the only solution to what ails America’s cities, it certainly seems to be doing little to help, and the locales and politicians Trump singled out are in particularly bad shape.
Those are, respectively, prophet of financial collapse and resource depletion J. H. "Clusterf*** Nation" Kunstler and American Greatness columnist Christopher Roach.

But nobody, Rod Dreher laments, wants to take a step back from the abyss.  "There is no difference at all in the vitriol from extremists of the left and the right. I believe the capacity for this kind of hatred exists within every human heart. What we are losing is the sense that it is a destructive passion to be resisted."

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