I am angry that we have a president who might be bungling us into war, isn't leading us as various parts of our country are devastated by hurricanes, and stokes resentment trying to get private companies to fire people for political activism.*
There is no shortage of targets for my anger. Here's the rough descending order of how worthy I think they are.
- Trump himself.
Yes, his behavior in office has been pretty much the same as his behavior before he took office, which didn't stop him from getting elected. Nevertheless, it would be nice if he retained enough respect for the office he holds and the people he leads to use it for better purposes than picking fights with those who slight him. That he hasn't is a profound failure of character. An unsurprising failure, but a failure nonetheless.
- Trump's Supporters
And here, I don't mean people who were economically devastated and who supported Trump in a misguided way.
I'm talking about people who should have known better who wrote articles like this arguing that we had to support Trump if we wanted conservative principles to survive.
Trump will poison any cause he is remotely associated with. He will make it impossible to advocate for them for a generation to anyone who remembers him. Nobody can ever take someone who would support such a figure seriously, in particular on matters of integrity.
To pick one example, some supported Trump because he would confront the "PC culture." And I agree this is a problem in some quarters. But when your remedy is to support someone who as president, pressured for specific people to be fired by private companies for political activism, you have lost all credibility on this issue.
They could have beat him. They could have positioned themselves to make themselves acceptable to those who couldn't stand Trump. They chose not to do so.
I didn't blame them at the time, since I figured they would win anyway.
But they should have known better than me, both about what a disaster Trump would be, and the possibility of him winning.
But they stuck to the script. The nominated a a candidate many of us couldn't stand and who considered herself entitled to the presidency, dismissed all concerns about her as sexism, and continued to stake out extreme cultural positions, and calling anyone who disagreed bigots. They were content to trade articles about how much smarter they were than others instead of actually helping people.
And then, they couldn't beat this doofus. And they're continuing to whine about press coverage, James Comey, Russian interference, and sexism to avoid taking a hard look at themselves in the mirror and figuring out how to win.
For generations, they've benefited from a core base of racism that they took votes from rather than confront. And then they accepted the support for an outside chance of winning the White House. And now they are using what power they have to try to take away people's health care.
Our current choice of parties: the party that nominated Trump and the party that couldn't beat him.
- The Culture
It is true that Trump has ratcheted up the coarseness of our culture several notches.
It's also true that this didn't come from nowhere. That he is the endpoint of a cultural degradation that has been going on for some time. Look at the titles of TV shows. Look at who we celebrate and pay attention to. Look at what we share and read.
Yes, criticize Trump for is crassness and vulgarity. But also ask yourself what contributions you have made to get us to where this is a possibility.
I'm sure there's some I've missed.
Of course, getting angry is the easy part. Channeling that anger into productive action is more difficult.