Editor’s note: the title and tone of this post were inspired by Brit Bennett’s essay “I Don’t Know What to Do With Good White People.”
I seem to be surrounded by Real Americans these days. Real Americans determined to make America great again; Real Americans determined to round up those illegals and send them back home; Real Americans who want to deal with those crime infested inner cities by warehousing people of a certain color; Real Americans who never threw their sheets and ropes away, but kept them in the closet for a day such as today; and so on. Continue reading
Back in February of 2014 I wrote a post entitled To Dissent. I encourage you to go read it, but I want to quote the final paragraph of that post:
The times are always tumultuous for dissent, now more than ever. But if we are to regain the balance between the government and the people, if we are to take charge of the destiny of our societies and our species, if we are to make a better life for ourselves and our children, if we are to proactively look towards the future instead of reactively running from it, if we are to continue to rise to the challenges provided to us as intelligent, sentient beings, then we must on occasion stand and make ourselves heard, even if our legs are shaking – especially when our legs are shaking – because to not do so is to disregard and dishonor the great gifts bestowed upon us by those who have courageously done so in the past.
Hannah Arendt is perhaps most famous for her discussion of what she termed the ‘banality of evil.’ In studying how the atrocities perpetuated by Germany under control of the Nazis came about, she reached the conclusion that great evil can only come about through the compliance of the people; that the truly bad can only happen when good people put their heads down and, whether from fear, or tiredness, or dismay allow it to unfold unchecked. Continue reading
As always in a democracy, there are issues where we can agree, and there are issues where we cannot agree. I can agree, for example, that the establishment has done a poor job of protecting the middle class. I can also agree that it has done a poor job of allowing minorities to enter it. Where I cannot agree is that the person gleefully supported by David Duke and white supremacists is the right person to fix it. I will never agree with that. Ever.
The problem with Donald Trump is not one of economics and hate. The problem is about legitimacy and trust.
The reason that Trump has risen so high in the polls is that he speaks to the lack of legitimacy with which many people hold the establishment. And why should they hold the establishment to be legitimate? After all, many of these are people who have lost their jobs to government-sponsored globalization, who have lost their homes and retirements to government-backed thievery by the banks, who have seen their futures redirected to a wealthy few through government-backed policies of upward redistribution, and whose every interaction with the government, from law enforcement to the labor department is anything but pleasant. Stoke this daily with hate radio, and you can see why people are primed for a change. Continue reading