Nobody’s fault but mine or ours

The only thing worse than a Republican is a Democrat. One is venal and vile. The other is clueless.

I was discussing the problems of politics with a candidate’s surrogate the other day and it dawned on me there are people who still do not understand why Donald Trump got elected to the highest office in the United States.

Many want to merely dismiss his supporters as being stupid. Some want to dismiss their neighbors as being racists or misogynists for supporting him while still others who love Trump are labeled as traitors.

The Trump supporters on the other hand have labeled those who oppose Trump traitors, racists, misogynists and stupid – but in fairness, so has the president. While both sides of the aisle retreat to their side of the sandbox and act like toddlers with loaded diapers, some of us are still scratching our heads and wonder how this all came to pass.

Money is part of the problem, as is gerrymandering. A lack of education hinders any effort to elect candidates with any mental prowess, but the truth of the matter is we are all victims of our own success. The problems of Gaza, Iran, most of the Middle East, Asia, Russia, China and Africa have not visited our shores. Even the poorest among us are not as bad off as those starving to death in many regions of the world. It is easy to cast a blind eye at refugees when we seem so flush with success here.

Still, the American people are not nearly as misogynistic, hate-filled or racist as each side of the aisle would have us believe. I find most people would actually care and reach out to help those in need if they actually understood the situation. But sadly we are blinded by our own fears and politics.

Thus it boils down to education.

Those who are students of politics, or observe and report on world events daily have by proximity a keener understanding of the situation – but when the president calls you “Fake News” and “the enemy of the people,” it becomes harder to cut through the clutter to make a difference when everything is seen through the prism of politics. It becomes more problematic when reporters get things wrong. True, we are human and bound to get things wrong – but for those who are looking for a reason to despise us it becomes easier to do so with each mistake we make.

Truth be told, we have never, nor will we ever play error-free baseball. We are just human. But for those who do not have the convenience of proximity to events it is becoming easier and easier to dismiss what newspapers, television, radio and the Internet news produce as we sink into our intellectual cul-de-sacs and rage at the dying of the light.

And so it becomes harder and harder to get to the source of our ennui even as we become more convinced there is a problem.

That is precisely why Donald Trump was elected and what the Democrats still do not understand. Many Americans may not know precisely what is wrong – but they know things are awry. Along comes Trump screaming about criminals in politics, draining the swamp and helping out the little guy and it resonates as surely as a guitar solo in an epic rock n’ roll romp.

Many hear the words and react. We are tired of business as usual. We are tired of the suffering, the crumbling infrastructure and as we look out at the world we fear we may go the way of other great civilizations.

The Democrats continue to believe by merely shouting that Trump is a charlatan and playing by the old rules, they can regain their power and right the ship of state. However, the Democrats are akin to the heckler at a magic show screaming the magician is faking it. We all know it. Some of us enjoy it. Some of us love to be fooled and some of us do not care.

In other words, Trump remains the epitome of the system – not its aberration. If Democrats wish to overturn the tide then they need to sell a better message to the voter than “he’s a criminal.”

Americans are used to criminals holding office – we elect them to those positions often enough. We elect liars and charlatans and morons. Our politicians are, as H.L. Mencken once noted, a “standing subversion of the public good in every rational sense.”

Trump is merely the latest in a long line of empty-headed imbeciles to prey upon the common wealth – as Mencken would say. That the Democrats are shouting loud and long about it is a fine and funny thing to me – coming as it does from a party that had a president who routinely lied about his infidelities and one who claimed to support freedom while jailing whistleblowers.

This will not make me popular among Democrats or Republicans, but I do not really care.

In this country the voters reap what they sow. That we are harvesting weeds is in the words of Robert Plant – “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Remember we’re all just another “Fool in the Rain.”


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