Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How To Write In The Trump Reich?

John Thomas Peele:  The Young Scholar (1871)

Writing about politics in the Trump Reich is a fraught enterprise.  So much that needs to be covered, so little time!  Besides, we now live in the post-rational era, which means that rational arguments are soooo 2016 and of no interest whatsoever.  Files nails, bats eyelashes. 

The one great talent Trump has is to direct our attention to his own peccadilloes:  The most recent one is his petulant attack on Myeshia Johnson, a Gold Star widow!  How does one NOT write about that, especially when her husband may have died because of Trump's incompetence, and when Trump extends his temper tantrum to two women of color:  Ms. Johnson and Rep. Frederica S. Wilson?

But then this is how he always acts, unable to take any criticism in a mature way, unable to feel empathy, unable to put any value above the picture he sees in his mirror, and if we always focus on such outrages (in this case tinged with his racism and sexism), then we never get to talk about the other things which are happening behind the curtain:

The great tax cuts for the rich.

-  The expiration of the Children's Health Insurance Program.  

-  The clearly clientelist state his administration is creating:

Puerto Rico has agreed to pay a reported $300 million for the restoration of its power grid to a tiny utility company which is primarily financed by a private equity firm founded and run by a man who contributed large sums of money to President Trump, an investigation conducted by The Daily Beast has found.
Whitefish Energy Holdings, which had a reported staff of only two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria touched down, appears ill-equipped to handle the daunting task of restoring electricity to Puerto Rico’s over 3 million residents.

-  Trump's militaristic boasting and threats, combined with his eagerness to see how nuclear bombs explode.

-  The secret and unelected powers who are financing what is happening to us.

-  And — in particular for someone who writes about women's issues — the apparent intensification in the Republican war against abortion and reproductive choice in general:  Cases like this one, and the new battle front that has opened up on contraception.

Sigh.  So what would work?  We need a more optimistic approach to the whole question of resistance, and probably a better division of labor in how to tackle Trumpology.  He shouldn't be allowed to determine what we talk about the way he currently does.  He plays with us, like a cat plays with a mouse, and much of our writing is just so much squeaking.