Wednesday, July 4, 2018

When Facebook Becomes Blogging

So I'm sure it's clear from years of obsessive posting that I have resentments a mile wide of all kinds. But I'm reading a lot of people today talk about how terrible America is today, and sometimes, globalism is the last refuge of the soundrel.
It's not that America isn't terrible, the world is terrible, and bad as things are now, this is still nothin'. No matter how bad things have gotten so far, the pretense of many leaves a terrible taste in my mouth that people whose entire prosperity and security has been guaranteed from cradle to grave get to pretend as though they're fighters for the greater good when really it's just anger about the fact that life is indifferent to what we want from it, and many of you have found a way to direct your anger that makes you feel virtuous. If America were really as horrible as they say, nobody would come here to begin with. The world is a very, very dangerous place for most people, and all things being equal, America, even in a severely compromised state, even in the way that it still fails tens of millions if not hundreds, is still a lot less dangerous. This country is truly enormous, and it amazes me that people who hate capitalism so obsessively don't make provisions for the fact that getting viewers' eyes on a 24 hour news cycle requires everything to seem like a disaster all the time.
I love America, without reservation, because, let's be honest here... I know history better, a lot better, than most of you, not really because I know it so well, but because you really don't, and I have a lot of relatives who lived and died the worst of it, and I know that however bad America is, being a citizen of the US still 10-100x better than every major civilization before it, and 90% of the world today. But like many people, I often want to kill the things and people I love too. The American idea is responsible not just for all the decent ideas in America that are an improvement on civilizations before it, but all the ideas in the Northern European and East Asian countries which fill you with envy. She may not be much, but she's the best idea we've ever had.
There are other people who want to kill these things who do not come from a place of love. Donald Trump is a Manchurian President. He was groomed by the Russians to take down as much of everything about this country that gave so much to so many hundreds of millions as humanly conceivable. If you think the America of today is truly as heinous as all that, you really haven't seen shit. The moral arc of the universe may bend towards justice, but the arc of our individual lives, and the lives of those we care about, does not.
Ultimately, Donald Trump won't destroy this country. He's too stupid and venal to think of anything in long-term strategy, and he'll have only destroyed just enough that every liberal, progressive, and socialist dream of a country that provides may yet become a reality in the next 10-30 years as the liberal state of the mid-20th century is wrecked, and something much more up to date can be put in its place. But we're now an old country, and at this late date in the American story, it's impossible to completely start over. There will be a minority of Americans that will so hate this that they would do everything, literally everything, to destroy it. If and when they do, and it's probably when, every civilization eventually comes down, but it may not be until we're all 80 or 90, but then, yes, America will be as bad as you think it is.
Just you wait...

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