Thursday, June 28, 2018

The World Isn't Ending

If you're a liberal, it takes forbearance to consider a Centrist's view right now. I post this not to provoke, but in the hope it might calm some people down from the roiling, cataclysmic Sturm und Drang. In complacent times, we need to hear edgy alarms, but amid melodrama it helps to listen to moderation.

First: a reminder that while Donald Trump is an authoritarian, vulgarian, thief, and traitor, he's also an incompetent clown who's his own worst enemy, and those are not the ones who destroy societies.

They can, however, enact the agenda of the party that elected them. And implementing conservative policies and appointing conservative judges is not tantamount to societal destruction, though you'd never know it from the lamentations of the Left as a Republican president prepares to flip the Supreme Court for a couple decades, after a half-century run of surprisingly liberal decisions remade America into something half the country absolutely hates.

I happen to support a number of those progressive decisions. But I also like to see people who don't think like me in this diverse society have a turn at the wheel. Remember how painful the Obama administration was for so many? They weren't all racists. Most were decent people with different values and inclinations, and the neighborly thing to do is to give them their time at the reins, feel happy for them while holding our noses, and plot strategy for the next election (opposing the worst until then). That's how democracy works.

Liberals love pluralism, tolerance, democracy, and encouraging all voices to contribute - just as long as those awful fucking people never get their way with their awful fucking policies. There's their progressive agenda - which is all that is Right and Just - and then there's the beyond-the-pale shit pile of doom. Democracy's when we all join hands in diverse and tolerant harmony to choose the Right and Just. See? Isn't that nice? And best for everyone? And completely reasonable? Why should we even entertain other views?

One of the problems right now is that two things are conflating. Trump's outrageous inclinations and utterances, which most often have all the real-world power of firecrackers and roman candles (before you start hollering at me, know that Obama deported tons), arrive in tandem with the enactment of policies, and appointment of judges, that half the country favors. One's mostly fizz, and the second is simply democracy - i.e. sharing power. The two together do not constitute the end of civilization as we know it.

I watched a lot of MSNBC yesterday, and hosts were railing about how abortion will most likely become more difficult to obtain. Consider my case for why abortion - like gun sales - maybe ought not to be as convenient as buying canned pineapple. It's a viewpoint (if you'll actually read the article) I suspect the vast majority of the population might agree with, even if it's not a stance they'd ever publicly express. And this, as of now, anyway, seems to be the primary screeching peril: something a reasonable, non-spittle-ejecting guy like me could get behind and you could probably live with (unfortunately, the inconvenience would disproportionally affect lower-income women, and that's a genuine problem, but not remotely in the same league with something I saw an otherwise hinged person screaming on Twitter yesterday about how our daughters and granddaughters will never know what it means to have control of their own bodies).

Finally, the so-called McConnell Rule about not appointing SCOTUS judges in election years - which was a cynical abomination and no kind of genuine point of civics - obviously referred to presidential election years, duh. The Democratic leaders hollering about how this, too, is an election year - like that's just the cleverest and most persuasive tack - are demonstrating more of the feeble lameness that lost Hillary the presidency. Er, guys, every year has elections. So why don't we forget the so-called McConnell Rule, which was never anything beyond transparently expedient pretext, and just go ahead and do like McConnell himself, and find smart ways to battle a foundational move from the Other Side. Maybe even try to intelligently strategize the process, rather than mouthily and ineffectively flail and rage (Jesus; a pox on both these parties!).

One last note. Per my frequent predictions, radical left-wing politicians are being embraced by the Left at a time when we really need to be reasserting norms and solidity. Consider Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the charismatic Democratic Socialist bartender who won a congressional primary in the Bronx:

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