Monday, March 13, 2017

Trumpcare and the Backlash

Years ago I was driving around New Jersey and killing time before picking up a friend. Out of ghoulish curiosity I switched the radio to some conservative talk shows to get my daily supply of Vitamin Cray. I would say 50% of the callers had rage directed at other Republicans for not being conservative enough, 30% were angry at Dems for turning the nation into a gunless communist gay abortion clinic, and then 20% were angry at weirdo-fringe stuff for things like Illuminati/Masons/ aliens/George Soros conspiracists.

It was revelatory experience to listen to caller after caller rant against GOPers because they compromised with Dems to get something done. The Trumpcare and the backlash against Paul Ryan has taught me that the GOP exists in a constant state of implosion and purge b/c the party platform is so illogical that anyone trying to implement it is either a) removed from reality or b) a sociopath c) going to have to compromise or d) all of the above. What ends up happening is that someone takes over as 'the leader' and then tries to actual lead with a GOP plan (like Trumpcare) and it's a catastrophe, but also deeply unsatisfying to a certain segment of the population that wants us to live in this Walden Pond utopia without public roads. It is these GOP voters' outrage that drives the media machine. These same voters never seem to piece it all together that the principles they stand for is the cancerous and corporatist rot hollowing out the country, not faithless legislators or activists judges. This leads to a party purge because the hatred conservatives have for Dems is only surpassed by their hatred for each other.

As a side note I do think this rush to rage is out of a deep psychic and transgenerational loneliness. So if we're waiting around for 'old white' generation to die out it won't work because the problem of social disconnection is a lot deeper than age. You have millions of lonely people, a few thousand extremely passionate people with access to radio, tv, and the internet. Passion is the ultimate aphrodisiac.  Passion is the basis of community which is what we crave as social animals. Humans will convince themselves of almost anything to be in a community. Even if that community is virtual or aural-based. As someone who has worked with addiction for a long time it all comes from a spiritual deficit. Cults, drug use, right-wing fascism. It comes from vast areas of the country being lonely, having no spiritual foundation, loosened morals, even looser understanding of logic, a weakened ability to discern truth. Until we solve that will be fighting on a million different fronts with destructive illogical fanatics -whether it's the environment or healthcare or the economy or religion- because these people aren't in the fight for improving culture. They are in the fight for the community and to quell their loneliness. They are in this battle b/c it makes them feel connected, even if they tear down the columns of civilization in the process. They will renounce every moral principle and even their own family for a pat on the head from the right master b/c these are damaged people who feel like they have been left behind. And demagogues foment their power from other people's ignorance and helplessness.

Demagogues use this passionate helplessness to keep stirring unrest. There is no end in sight, there is no cultural fix because the goal is never to 'fix' anything but to keep people in a state of disease and rage. In regard to the current situation with the GOP, there situation is Sisyphean in its redundant hopeless. It's all purge and implode. Any feasible policy initiatives disintegrate into this wish for some machine gun-toting, Reagan-faced centaur that does not exist in any realm.

Trumpcare manages to fit option d: a combination of the worst and a heartless compromising of a raging sociopath with no sense of reality. It will continue the cycle of implosion and purge as we lurch even farther to the right. 

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