It feels a little played out to write on the repercussions of an event that occurred just hours ago, should we echo liberal media which is perpetually aghast that our polarized, radicalized, and violence loving populace took things too far? Or should we posture for increasingly desperate right-wing clicks by downplaying the events of crazed ideologues storming the U.S. legislature in probably the stupidest attempt at a governmental coup in recent memory?
The 2020 election feels very similar to the 2016 election, each gave the sense of a changing wind for the United States. While 2016 was an unambiguous ‘red tide’ purging the supposed taint of long held tradition, bureaucratic reform, and presumptions about statehood; 2020 is shaping up to be a restoration movement in the opposite direction. As I’ve said many times before, the United States is a lost country. Internally divided, easily perturbed, void of purpose, and lacking any ideological vision. But this post isn’t to discuss the issues with America’s parties (see prior posts for that), but instead to talk about the self serving nature of the election narrative as it’s broken through partisan lines. Maybe as a nation we can see through this charade and move past this turmoil with open eyes.
As far as election narratives go, Trumps approach can be considered erratic at best and inept at worst. The time honored tradition of controlling the media cycle by inventing a new ‘story’ doesn’t work so great when the story you are trying to distract from (poor debate) was actually better than the new story (Trump and something like 30% of his inner circle catch COVID). Back during the 2016 campaign there was a view that Tump was a shrewd manipulator, his public persona was not reflective of his interior views or behaviors. Beneath the barely cognizant policy proposals was the presumed brilliance that built a multi-million dollar empire. With one month until election the timing couldn’t be worse for a nearly irrefutable (and maybe a bit absurd) revelation; Team Trump may just be this inept and the people he decided to surround himself are the dumbest kids in the room.
Ideological turmoil in America has reached unprecedented heights. With conservatives falling into the unfalsifiable throws of populism and Liberals fetishizing 1960 solutions to 2020 problems, both appear lost in moving through the 21st century. What comes after Trump for the populist? What comes after liberals fail yet again to implement a child’s imitation of the Great Society? (more…)