Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Someone to Watch Over Me, Part Four

So is the Trump phenomenon a movement, or is it a variation on William F. Buckley's mission statement:
It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.
Stop. Stop the immigrants. Stop. Stop the high-handedness. Stop. Stop the impulse to remake the world through egalitarianism with handling charges. Stop. Stop ignoring the concerns of the people who have provided support. Back to Aaron Barlow:
Many Trump supporters . . .  base their attitudes on a Calvinist (and pre-Enlightenment) vision of individualism that starts within each of them, with faith in the person and in their God. It next moves, in a spreading circle, to family, to friends, and only then to others in the broad realm of human interaction and politics. If each person acted responsibly, by these lights, there would be little need for government—each individual having a tempering effect on those they interact with. The secular-liberal vision starts in a different place, with a structured base created and maintained by the group. Once responsibilities to it are met, the individual is free to—is encouraged to—act on his or her own to whatever ends seem appropriate, as long as those ends do not threaten or compromise the group structure.
It's been incremental, but we're now at a point where accumulated power in Washington overwhelms everything else. And we are at a point where the group structure that Barlow describes doesn't include many Americans in any real sense. Leadership pursues its own agenda and doesn't really give a damn what the less enlightened folks hold dear. Once more, to Barlow:
 The manipulated among the conservative Americans have finally found their voice. Unfortunately for the rest of us, its articulation comes through a circus entertainer of little substance. This is driving the Republican establishment crazy—and may well do the same to the Democrats in the general election this fall. Neither group knows how to deal with the Trump phenomenon. Both are seeing the man, not the movement.
And it's not surprising -- we all see what we want to see. And we're like a snowmobiler in the woods at night, off the trail, overrunning our headlights.


Gino said...

Trump supporters are not as deep as he says. It's not an intellectual/spiritual movement at all, but a visceral one.

Brian said...

I suspect you're right on this point, Gino...where Ron Paul's support was a mile deep and an inch wide, Trump's is the opposite. It might take a year or so into his term for that to be apparent, though.

Mr. D said...

It's not an intellectual/spiritual movement at all, but a visceral one.

I agree, and that's why I can't get with it. I trust my brain a lot more than I trust my gut.

Gino said...

My gut says I'm hungry, my bank account says I can eat next payday. That's what trump is about.

That's why I'm sympathetic.

Bike Bubba said...

I tend to agree with Gino on this one--and also with Mark, as he notes that decisions made with the gut tend to be foolish ones. To build on Gino's example, what happens when the gut says eat now and the bank account says next payday? Pawn shop and payday lender here we come, and the next pay cycle, the gut says eat now and the bank account says next payday....a day or so earlier. Nasty cycle, and I'd hate to go through it as a nation.

Come to think of it, the same factor is behind Sanders and Hilliary, and was behind the Obama campaigns. We are living that nasty cycle, and I don't like it one bit.

R.A. Crankbait said...

My brain and my gut both tell me that what the Republican and Democrat parties are offering for president is like trying to decide which toilet to drink out of.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

My gut tells me I'm free. And it doesn't matter who is trying to mount the throne in DC.