Tuesday, February 06, 2018

How can we hang on to a dream?

There's always the temptation, but we all know there's no point in playing the What If Obama Had Done It? game with anything Trump does, certainly not with accusing political opponents of treason for not applauding at his drooling, half-witted speech. This is really just the latest in a long line of things that would've effectively ended Obama's career, but since we now live in Hell, nothing matters.

Still, there's almost a sense in which republicans are right when they defend it as a "joke." Okay, "almost" is probably exaggerating; I'm not sure Trump would be capable of telling a coherent joke, and even if so, that certainly wasn't one. But imagining that anything he says is serious, or has any weight, is a mistake. Nothing means anything or is part of any coherent philosophy or governing strategy; it's just him indulging whatever bit of petty resentment or self-aggrandizement seems most meet at any given moment.  I mean, really, it's obvious he just meant to say "DUR DEMOCRATS SUCK!!!!11"  But, of course, this is a problem because, unfortunately for him, we don't actually live in a fully postmodern world, and words still mean things.  Even if nothing he says should be taken seriously, he's the President, and even if he doesn't understand what that means, it still matters. Tragically.

It's hard not to feel a certain existential helplessness at this moment. Even if Democrats make big wins in 2018 and 20--hell, even if (let's go wild) Trump is indicted and lives out the remainder of his miserable life at the bottom of an oubliette--our problems will not be solved. Even if Trump himself is gone, the GOP's cynical nihilism will live on, and as long as that party so passionately embraces evil, I don't see how it's possible to have anything like a functioning democracy. The only chance is for them to become so utterly marginalized that they have have only regional power if that, but history pretty clear shows that voters never, ever punish the party for anything beyond an election cycle or two, so...I don't know. I really truly can't see how we escape this fucking nightmare.


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