Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pray for Wisdom, 'Cause There Ain't No Going Back

Wow!  Did the President of the United States just visit North Carolina and accuse me of all these horrible misgivings?  Disrespectful and undignified?  Brainless?  In favor of torture and fearful of Muslims?  Moi?

Well, I guess so.  I am, after all, voting for Donald Trump.  So I assume the President is referring to me. Or else, by inference, to my gullibility.  And this from our Drone-Strike-Happy Commander in Chief, he who twisted truth into a pretzel to hide the CIA rendition and gun smuggling operation in Benghazi.  Why admit complicity when duplicity works better?  Right?  Thanks, chief.  Gotcha.  No wonder you're stumping for Hillary.  Your legacy is tied to hers.

Oh, well.  As Virgil said, Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit ("Perhaps it will be pleasing to remember even these things at some time"). What else to expect if you're the moles lotis?  For those unfamiliar with Latin -- or Google translator -- moles lotis basically means, You suck!  Sorry you feel that way, Mr. President.  Apparently you aren't alone, so get in line.

Soon after the first Republican primary debate in 2015, I had dinner with my attorney sister and her husband, a sports radio broadcaster for a major university.  The primaries came up in conversation. They listened politely as I speculated that Trump would win it all.  That was my takeaway from the first Republican primary debate.  Don't ask me why. All I recall now is that Trump refused to make the pledge. That took cojones. I was impressed. He is a prescient outcast.  And honest.  Others like me felt the same way. A great many others, I have learned.  A tidal wave of others.  John Kasich, not so much. He chose to swim against the tide.  And petulantly so.

I read a lot of political commentary after Trump declared for the race. I could see the strategy was to split the primary vote so Jeb ended up with the nomination.  Or at least that seemed to be the strategy.  Whatever we now learn from Wikileaks about the Democrat effort to rig their primary, don't doubt that Republicans attempt the same thing on their turf.  It makes sense, when you think about it, though it is unfair and improper. Folks who get into the race understand the ground rules.  Trump did, too.  But Trump stood toe to toe with them and demonstrated a moxie that no one expected. Whether you like his principles or not, he was willing to embrace is own principles and declare them and live or die by them, politically speaking.  I admire his willingness to will one thing, a la Soren Kierkegaard, and let the chips fall where they may.  The man owns some brassy stones.

At the beginning of the first debate he cracked on Rosie O'Donnell, which I found hilarious.  His response to Megyn Kelly's dumb question was spontaneous and quick-witted.  I think I laughed for five minutes.  In later days, he pledged to build a wall.  He went after illegal immigrants from south of the border who commit major crimes. And immigrants from the terror-rich Middle East who haven't been vetted properly. And low-energy Jeb.  I wince even to write that last sentence. I like Jeb Bush, as does my family. We supported him in Florida as Governor.  So no axe to grind there. Jeb is a good guy. Knowledgeable, fair minded, and a talented pragmatist with a good track record. He certainly did well by us.  But the timing for his Presidential run just wasn't right, in my opinion.

The times required a bomb to drop on Washington.  A bombardier was needed.

D.C. has become too encrusted.  Even someone as astute and genuine as Jeb Bush wouldn't be able to break it loose.  Nor someone with laser-like arguments, such as Cruz. Nothing short of an explosion will suffice.  Cruz seemed too linear, an ideologue like Obama, but at the other end of the spectrum.  I like him well enough, but I'd like him better on the Supreme Court.  Carson didn't seem right either, or Christie or Paul, all good people who had their moments, and Rubio was effervescent but naive and couldn't complete his baptism by fire.  Kasich, God bless his aging soul, was just holding out for a plum appointment in the new administration, or maybe even Veep.  He didn't get picked. And now he's sore about it.  That's my sense of things.

Hence, my early affection for The Donald.  He has not let me down.  Plus, he understands the art of the deal. He can handle our interests on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Wall Street won't hate him as much as they think.  The Donald, after all, is a pragmatist, even if he isn't one after their heart.  Wall Street is pragmatic, too, though in a different way.  I think they'll find middle ground.

One of my favorite websites, The Last Refuge, makes frequent reference to the term cold anger. People who want incisive analysis will find it there.  And for further education, follow the comments beneath the articles. Same with American Thinker and Zero Hedge.  A lot of interesting and well-informed people contribute to these sites, and also comment there.  You can get a good education for but the cost of internet service.  I read them daily. And I contribute on occasion, though you would hardly mistake me for someone interesting and well-informed.  I get my news from The Onion, now that Jon Stewart is gone.  That's how deplorables do it, right?

Alas, that being said, here is the Refuge's parsing of cold anger:

Cold Anger is not hatred, it is far more purposeful.
Cold Anger absorbs betrayal silently, often prudently...
Cold Anger does not gloat; it absorbs consistent vilification and ridicule as fuel.  This sensibility does not want to exist, it is forced to exist in otherwise unwilling hosts – who also refuse to be destabilized by it (emphasis mine).

Read the whole thing here and elsewhere on their site.

My takeaway from cold anger is this.  Many of us have become impervious to the arguments against a Trump presidency.  We are open-minded.  But we aren't blind.  We'll grant that Trump is not the best imaginable person for the job.  Or even one of the best, in the best of all possible worlds.  But we know he is the person for the job NOW.  And he seems to want the job for all the right reasons, the most important one being, he doesn't need it.  Tea Party pragmatists and Occupy Wall Street idealists have this in common:  the system isn't working and they know it.  Hillary isn't an option even if she and her husband weren't so corrupt. Call it Jacksonian populism if you want, or any other ism, but things are getting worse for the 98%, not better.  Obamacare premium increases in 2017 really do scare the hell out of people.  So does terrorism.  And unemployment.  And the problems will be generational. The sins of the fathers always get visited upon the second and third generation.  Life works that way.  We deplorables at least know that much.

America is a huge ship.  It has taken centuries to build up steam.  But slowly, over many decades of political maneuvering, the ship has veered off course and now is headed in a perilously wrong direction.  A change of course is needed.  The change will be unsettling. And frightening.  It will create no small amount of angst and pain.  What we know for sure is that the current direction won't get us home.  In fact, even now we are plowing through dark and dangerous waters.  Clouds descend.  And our compass is broken.

So what can we do?  

Well, let me suggest a simple Q & A to get us started.

Question:  How do you turn a huge ship?

Answer: Drop a huge bomb off the bow.

Then we mix metaphors and do like Moses during the flight from Egypt.  We pray for wisdom to make good decisions with full steam ahead, 'cause Pharaoh's a-coming and there ain't no going back.

That'll get her done...for now at least.

R. Stephen Bowden blogs at the Steve Bowden Journal.  You can find him on Facebook, too.