How do we deal with a segment of the public that has no interest in factual reality? Where belief, unsupported by critical reasoning, crosses into outright superstition? Too often, alas, it’s even wrapped in religious trappings – tainting both church and state with irrational fervor or madness.
And that’s what we have in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s campaign. The lies and half-truths will be hard to wash clean. The stench will remain even longer.
Yes, the underlying hurt runs deep, but Bernie Sanders tagged the causes of the problems accurately and pointed to joint collective action to repair the damage and heal the common good. Not so Trump or his legions.
There was nothing pragmatic or even logical in Trump’s babbling, no matter how many were deluded by his initial snake-oil charm. He was not telling it like it was but rather how they imagined life that might have been had they not been passed by. And then, toward the end, he was denying so much of what he’d told them in the first place or that his words had been just a joke. Locker room banter, as he claimed, not that many of us white guys recognized anything of the sort.
Now, no matter the outcome of the election, the nation’s divided by what he’s encouraged.
It’s not just racism, though those who think it’s fine for police to murder unarmed citizens is justifiable go about stealing Black Lives Matter lawn signs and then are alarmed if blacks take up the right-wing’s interpretation of the Second Amendment in self-defense. Folks, what would you do in that situation?
I’ll return to Bernie’s to-do list. I don’t think he was the administrator to push the goals through, but he certainly did an admirable job in articulating them. May he continue, building a base to take both houses of Congress in 2018.
Meanwhile, I’ll lament for what passes for national debate these days in all the tumult. We need honest dialogue to advance. And that will include admission of fault where it’s dues, rather than more blaming others.