November 9, 2016 | Cle Elum | Kittitas County Sentinel | Bruce Coe
This is a great year for democracy in the United States. While it may not be a great year for individual freedoms and natural rights, the results of this election will be proof of the political nostrum accredited to Joseph de Maistre: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.”
We’re about to get exactly what we deserve. No matter how the election goes, and excepting any serious tomfoolery in the voting process, on November 9th we will have the living, breathing, stark- naked embodiment of the souls of our two major parties on display as our next president.
The media, mainstream and otherwise, has been absolutely unable to make any sense of it all. Media heads deal with predictability; in fact, their public persona is built around their ability to forecast what will happen by using their own interpretation of events in the past.
But this is a peep show, whack-a-mole election and there is nothing in recent history for them to build on. They’re lost. No informational continuity. Unless you go back to, maybe, Andrew Jackson, but that’s why beyond the scope of immediacy that most commentators use to analyze the present. This year they have had to rely for their commentary on silly glibness or a funny kind of woebegone impatience reminiscent of a disapproving uncle at a family gathering.
The Republican establishment is equally confounded and befuddled at the emergence of what is truly a ‘big tent’ party. As if to say, “Well, harrumph kaf kaf, we didn’t mean THIS big a tent!”
No matter how you analyze the election, or which party you call home, the basic issue is this: nothing happens down here on the ground. No change despite all the hope. The people who flocked to both the Sanders and Trump movements were pissed off because none of the things that were promised came true. No universal daycare. No strict constitutionalist interpretations. No gun control. No respect for property rights, no smaller gummint, no universal education, no abortion on a moment’s notice. When you tell people you will do something and then don’t do it, people feel you have lied to them.
The Nose in the Tent
The Dems had their Trump in Bernie Sanders and they shut down Bernie right away, and used the DNC to do it. They got it right from a big party perspective. Control those nitwits, anyone who challenges party orthodoxy. Shut ‘em down. Don’t care how. The narrowly defined political spectrum of the Democrat Party is hung on about four pegs: environmentalism, feminism, equality at the expense of personal freedom and the requisite governmental power to accomplish those goals. Easy to understand, hey? Step outside that ring and you get pummeled.
The R’s have never figured out a way to suppress the natural rebelliousness inherent in a political philosophy that contains, or should contain, an element of personal freedom and sovereignty. Tea Party. Sagebrush Rebellions. Public Land occupation (as if you can’t occupy anything bigger than a campsite on public land, or an entire city block if you are a Liberal.) With Trump they got the whole camel in the tent, right up to and including the rump and all associated appurtenances.
Tail and All
So what to think? Despite the rest of the world’s consternation, lecturing, opprobrium, fussiness and public tizziness, I celebrate the freedom that goodhearted, solid and otherwise sober and intelligent Americans go wackadoo and put people like this year’s crop of aspirants up for election. Depending on who you listen to, America is either the greatest nation ever or the most failed nation on earth.
We got Democracy
Individual action within a larger group? Check. Robust, if increasingly bitchy conversation? Check. Colin Kaepernick being an idiot and inhaling backfire for the rest of his natural life? Check. An operating, messy, foolish and vital public process where, it seems, nothing is hidden or forbidden? Check. Naked leaders? Check. Does anyone really think that there is anything hidden in this election? Open and transparent elections? Check.
And this, my friends, is what the party apparatchiks, the soulless media heads, the oblitterati, the governors of the ungovernable, the common ‘taters, the millennials, the boomers and everyone in between seem unable to comprehend: this is democracy and we have the absolute freedom to board that long black train anytime we want.
And because this is democracy none of the stuff they promise will get done the way they promised it would get done, if it gets done at all.
Scary, isn’t it?
The article Trumpism Explained was written Nov. 2, 2016 by Bruce Coe for The KCS