I think this is going to be another long, winding road. My thoughts are coming together in waves, and not all that organized. I may delete this opening before posting…or may just leave it here so I can watch the winding road and maybe enjoy the ride. I have a Facebook friend who I do not know in real life, and I don’t think I’ve ever met in real life. He became a Facebook friend because he maintains a pretty sizable following of Trump loyalists, and after going back and forth a few times, he asked me to join the fun. I don’t participate in the banter all that much since the start, mostly because it’s not my style (the typical response from the Trump loyalists is a meme about Hillary being ugly or something like that), and I get bored with the lack of real discussion. The folks over there seem more about winning, when I’m not there to compete. But this group has given me a window into Trump loyalists that I might not otherwise have, and I’ve made some generalizations. I know generalizations are often unwise, and I’m sure there are individuals who support Trump and do not fit this mold. Indeed, I’m not sure at all that these loyalists are representative of Trump supporters at all, so in truth I see this more as a focus group than a survey, but I’ve still seen some interesting things. Let’s start the ride.
I’m not a historian, and I don’t know one well enough to ask, but it seems like the illegitimate president is a modern trend. Even if we’ve had one or two before, my guess is that we haven’t had three, could be four, in a row. What do I mean by an illegitimate president? A president who a large swath of Americans reject as the legitimate president because of one thing or another. Clinton, failed to get a majority of the vote. Bush, had a presidency that was decided by a Supreme Court case (which, in my non-legal expert opinion, was decided against the ideology of every single Justice on the bench). Obama’s citizenship, or fraudulent citizenship, made him illegitimate, and now, the election is rigged, so if Clinton wins, her presidency will have the illegitimate label also. Let’s look at each of these in a rational manner.
[Edit: I’m sure this is rough. I didn’t proofread it before publishing. It’s not supposed to be for anybody else’s consumption anyway. Perhaps I’ll go back and fix it, but if this note is still here, that hasn’t happened yet. For now it’s just a first draft, and a hope at some relief that never seems to come.]
The last week has been full of sadness. We’ve had stories of people dying at the hands of what seem to be poorly trained police officers (although I’m the first to admit that I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a cop), and just last night, at an overwhelmingly peaceful protest about those deaths, madmen struck and shot and killed police officers. Officers who were not involved in any of these horrible stories (and even if they were, it wouldn’t justify killing them), officers who were clearly part of the community, and who were there to help the protesters exercise their first amendment right to assemble. There seemed to be no animosity between the protesters and the police. I’m not sure why that matters to me, but I think it makes it especially sad that the shooting happened there, in a place, Dallas, that has a reputation for making it work, and making it work well.
I try to keep emotion out of this blog, in fact, that’s kind of the rule here, but I’m not sure I can keep it out of this one, and it’s my blog…really my diary, so I can break the rules when I want.
A friend posted this on FaceBook the other day. It’s a blog post written about a challenge that was made to republicans to “Name any meaningful metric that got worse under President Obama.” The post is very detailed and long, and I’m actually a bit jealous that I didn’t write it first. Either way, this friend, the one who posted it on FaceBook, tagged one of his conservative friends to respond. He did it in a nice way, non-confrontational.
Scott, genuinely interested in your response to this. Not posting this as a provocation – I would really like to hear an informed rebuttal from a smart conservative person who plays fair, which you do.
But please limit your response to 20 or 30,000 words. Don’t want feel like I’ve burdened you with homework on 4th of July weekend.
I like that. Scott responded, and I wanted so badly to respond to his comment, but I don’t know the original poster all that well (the “friend” on FaceBook is really the husband of one of my wife’s high school friends who I’ve known for a while, but she doesn’t fall into the list-of-people-I’d-invite-to-my-birthday-party circle, and neither does her husband. For that reason, and because he specifically said he wasn’t trying to provoke, I resisted the temptation to post…and just relieved myself here. So here’s Scott’s response, and what I so badly wanted to say to him after.
David Brat is mad. He’s mad at Obama for asking Christians to be, well, more Christian. In a recent interview, Brat, a republican Member of the House of Representatives from Virginia, said that he was very upset with Obama. And in other news, water is wet. Kidding aside, Brat is upset because Obama used teachings that are part of Christianity to urge elected officials to be more compassionate. As was first reported by Right Wing Watch, Brat said that Obama “is using the Christian tradition and trying to bring about compassion by bonking Republicans over the head with the Bible.” He went on to say that Obama is “mocking his enemies in order to compel a larger federal state using the tradition of love,” and further stated that “our side [the conservatives] needs to reeducate its people that we own the entire tradition.”
I understand that people get mad when their own words are used against them. I can appreciate that, but maybe, just maybe, when we’re called out for hypocrisy, we should be upset at ourselves for being hypocrites, instead of being mad at the person who pointed it out. To be fair, however, there’s a part of me that see’s Brat’s point, but only a little bit.
I wrote a piece a couple of months ago arguing that we are experiencing a very hateful time in our history. Not that we feel like we hate people more than ever before, but that we feel more hated than ever before. For some time, I had connected some of this with a persecution envy that seems to be everywhere, and feels so strange to me, but I’m starting to think that this hatred is stemming from our culture of fear. We are afraid of everything, and so much of what we see tells us that we’re not afraid enough.