Friday, February 26, 2016

Donald Trump Makes Me Feel Young Again

I apologize for writing about politics, but Donald Trump makes me feel young again. And that’s very frightening.

Friends know that in my teens and twenties I could get irrationally emotional about issues that I was certain foreshadowed the coming apocalypse. I grew up in a household run by a liberal from San Francisco, so it wasn’t surprising that I thought Ronald Reagan would turn our planet into a charcoal briquette if we were crazy enough to elect the former actor president. And I was convinced that the CIA would lose us the Cold War with their bumbling efforts to overthrow the leftist leaders of the third world. Of course, I was being hysterical. Thankfully, I stopped seeing doom around every corner (it’s exhausting). Over the last three decades I’ve learned that no matter what party thinks it is in charge, things stay pretty much the same in America thanks to the supernatural wisdom of our Founding Fathers.

Until now.

David Brooks said it better than I ever could in this morning’s New York Times, and I think it’s particularly telling that Paul Krugman’s column today reinforces Brooks’ dire warning. Usually those two seem more interested in taking pot shots at each other than reinforcing each other. Please take the time to read them both.

For several reasons – but mostly because it’s so damn lucrative for so many, including Fox & Friends – too many Americans are now fueled by fear. Fear makes us abandon our values. The Bill of Rights will not survive in a country ruled by fear.

Yes, I’m hysterical enough to suggest our nation may not survive this election.

National demographics have long foreshadowed a fundamental change is coming. The 2016 election is likely to be the last presidential election where a party that appealed primarily to white Americans even has a slim chance of winning. This is why Republican Party leaders declared their intent to broaden the party’s base after 2012. Not so fast.

Instead of changing the party, the party’s front runner wants to change America. He says he wants to make America great again, but there is nothing great, nor anything American about what he promotes. Again, Brooks said it better than I can.

I’ve believed since last July that Cleveland (the city I call home) will host the “Donald Trump Coronation Ball, ” aka the GOP convention, this summer. Back then I saw humor in that. Not now. There’s nothing funny about fear.