This morning the country knows how Valier feels and how little they care about big shots, minorities, and slick stuff. They want safety (no change) so much that it’s dangerous. This morning the reservation is still as mysterious and cloaked as it ever was, and they might be a little safer because of it.
I sat up with my lap full of cats until midnight and watched PBS straight through as the panel gradually realized what was happening. Judy Woodruff, David Brooks, Stuart Stevens, Mark Shields, Hari Sreenivasan, Cornell Belcher, Amy Walter and Andrea Gillespie. http://www.pbs.org/election2016/home/ As returns came in they began to gasp and then to become aghast as the world shifted. I wasn’t as surprised as they were.
Judy Woodruff — thin, streaked blonde, beautifully dressed and made-up, clearly aging but very much in charge — was reduced to demanding “what do they WANT?” For the last week or so I’ve been dealing with the Missoula UU Fellowship and trying to assimilate the changes in them since my ministry in the Eighties. I remembered visiting a woman much younger than Woodruff, but the same type, who was trying to understand two pre-school sons who followed her around all day, whining. She was an educated professional, so she consulted a psychiatrist. He told her to turn to them, focus on them, and ask them “What do you WANT?”
I was trying to get this woman’s attention in terms of the fellowship when she rounded on me and demanded, “What do you WANT?” I was disconcerted. She, in her conviction that her role was to supply and manage things, had no idea what the conversation was about. It was not about me. Clinton never even asked us what we wanted. Nobody ever listened, really listened.
Trump, or his handlers, went the marketing route: like Amazon and Netflix, they were watching the thumbs and stars. To continue the comparison with the UUA, elitists thought the Democrats were a meritocracy, so tried to join them, just as minorities (esp. Blacks) join the UUA to improve their status. But all the time the “people” wanted reality TV. Reality TV — often envisioned as bling and vulgarity — is not real. It is a construct by teams aiming at titillation, emotion and sales. Media has sold out to advertising. It works. By going to the lowest common denominator.
As the news came in, the PBS panel began to turn on itself, accusing themselves for not knowing, except for the two Black pollsters. Stevens, a Republican of sorts but well-traveled, and David Brooks, the PBS and NYT columnist, were the most gracefully accepting of the idea that everyone had missed some great subtle force in the world that was crucial. They will undoubtedly be trying to understand what people really want. Many others will simply quit the process, going back to their various addictions.
I’ve been saying for years that what people really want is a zipless fuck, and now that Trump is the president I can say it out loud. That’s what he’s been promising, and everyone went for it. His problem is going to be what to do with success. Like the Trumpish mayor Valier elected and who resigned as soon as he hit difficulties (a few weeks later), Trump really has no idea what the job is going to be. He has staff for that.
In a nearby county, a woman was elected treasurer. Glowing with achievement and honor, she evidently found that the job was outside her ability and education: she could not handle the bookkeeping and didn’t understand the context of deadlines and consequences. She was set-upon by the local media with covert racism, but she, with unreal stubbornness, refused to resign. Even professionals contracted to solve the problems have not delivered, which makes everyone suspect there’s something criminal going on.
Since Trump doesn’t shrink from nakedness and micropenis accusations, I guess we can say he may turn out to be a emperor with no clothes. But more than that, he may be a puppet whose trappings are projected, a blue screen man whose background is CGI-controlled by people who are not even national, much less American. Cleverly, they portray Trump as a man who is against those hidden controllers, while Clinton and Obama are part of them, co-conspirators of the crooked, or they wouldn’t have gotten where they are.
Education used to be the safeguard. Around here everyone tried to send their kids to college. The result was that they left for the coastal cities, ended up teaching as adjuncts, and ran up debts that they probably will never pay off, in an aggregate amount some say is 7% of the GNP. In the meantime, I can’t find a proper plumber or carpenter. The high schools no longer teach civics or history or the major patterns of the ways the world works. If they depart from the local bubble of the taken-for-granted “knowledge,” parents storm the superintendent’s office.
The young — who gave up on grownups a long time ago — have educated themselves, at least the ones who could get access to the internet and were smart enough to figure out code because they’ve been playing cyber-games (“Game of Thrones”) since they were little, building skills to follow layers, twists and turns, and dissolving assumptions designed by coastal sequestered people with funny names from around the world. There is another underestimated body of youngsters out there, a different kind of globalism, in all sorts of circumstances, who are as mysterious as Native Americans. Maybe ARE Native Americans. Darkness is their friend.
One of my feeds is a website for highly educated professors and therapists, located throughout the Western — or at least Atlantic-bordering — countries. Last week they left their low-level rivalries about therapeutic theories to become passionate about Trump and Clinton. The Ivory Tower moderator, a man focused on status and privileged knowledge, begged and is still begging for the subscribers to limit themselves to art and psych. Hopeless. Even in France, they really need to talk about Trump, who so echoes Hitler. They remember Hitler.
Valier does not believe in global warming, the causes of cancer, controlling diabetes, any risks in genomic experiments, or the limits of mineral resources. They’re a little baffled by the wind farm we can see from here and mostly accepting of the long high-tension transmission lines, the pipe-lines, the inconvenience of lacking hi-speed optical fiber, the risks of industrializing agriculture. They have a firm grasp on their hatred of chickens, dust, weeds, pot holes, or anyone who criticizes them for being hicks. These issues did not come up in the national election.