The proverbial straw

Something snapped over the weekend while taking in Donald Trump's disparaging of the people of Puerto Rico. There's no particular reason, no readily discernible threshold beyond which Commander Marmalade hadn't previously ventured. It's not as this example of lack of human decency was any more notable than embracing white supremacy, dismissing a billion Muslims as terrorists, mocking the disabled or boasting of sexual assault. And given that we've had eight months of his special brand of idiocy, nothing he's done in recent days was even moderately suprising. No, I suppose it was just the proverbial straw that broke my cameloid back.

Whatever the pysychology, the upshot is I just can't play nice anymore. To be honest, it's always been hard pretending to respect the point of view of almost half the voting population of a 21st century info-industrial nation, and indulge their claims of economic dislocation, cultural oppression and other invented insults to their counter-constitutional identity as Americans. But we're constantly told that we Democrats have to be the grownups in the room, reach out with open hands, not clenched fists (as Obama would have us do). That getting angry at the Trumpistas will accomplish nothing and only serve to push farther apart the two poles of this bisected country. And I have tried. Really. I've held back and kept quiet. It might not look that way based on my recent writings and verbal outbursts, but I've self-censored and inserted words of understanding and patience where I wanted to more accurately express my outrage.

But I can't keep on keeping on.

"The Media Needs To Stop Rationalizing President Trump’s Behavior" writes Nate Siliver of fivethirtyeight.com. "His outburst on Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico shows that not everything is a clever ploy to rally his base." I say we should apply the same level of analysis to Trump's supporters. 

When you get right down to it, there is only one group of Americans to blame for the mess we're in. James Comey, as confused as he was, isn't to blame. The Russians for all their Twitter and Facebook meddling, illegal as it was, shoulder next to no responsibility. Bernie Sanders and his most simple-minded followers aren't even in the same ballpark. Not even the hapless media and its email obsession is worth considering. The sole guilty party is the Trump voter. Period. 

Unlike supporters of George Bush Jr. a "compassionate conservative" who cared about climate change on the campaign trail but quickly changed his spots once the electoral college and SCOTUS had bowed to his charisma charms in 2000, we all knew exactly what we're getting in 2016. There's not a soul on the planet who can claim with any sincerity to be surprised by anything that Trump has said or done since giving the White House a makeover. They gave us this disaster unfolding on a daily basis. And the rest of us — the rest of the weeping planet — deserves an apology. 

I'm not going to continue holding my tongue when the moment arrives to demand contrition. Maybe that won't help. But more than a million American citizens are still without water, on American soil, largely because our president would rather call Puerto Ricans crybabies than mobilize the resources of a $20-trillion-dollar economy to help them, and playing nice isn't exactly doing the trick.

 

 


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