Edward C. "Coe" Heller is a Los Angeles-based film producer who believes that if everyone knows something to be true it is probably false. A friend, tired of listening to rants has suggested a blog as a harmless outlet. Coe believes it is vanity, and a chasing after the wind, but is unsure it is harmless.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

The Empire Strikes Back

And now, Our Empire, America, Inc. has been Trumped.  In a confounding of all order Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, and We of the bi-coastal elite who know so much better and more than the rednecks in flyover country have been kicked to the curb. 
I predict that nothing good is going to come from the Trump presidency,  but the issue for most of us is what to think now and how to react.
The campaign was endless and daily plumbed the depths of depravity in every way.  Rubio’s crude sexual slander (my goodness!) drew Trump’s response (why?) that he is just fine in that department (good Lord!?!).  The sole comfort was that We knew how it would end…Secretary Clinton would win someplace between comfortably and by a landslide.  We knew it because it had to be.
But sometimes life imitates art, from History of the World Part I:
Count De Monet - Sir, the peasants are revolting! King Louis - You said it. They stink on ice.
What Our candidate actually said on Our behalf was:
“You could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up…He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks -- they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
Now, the thing about that statement is that although We actually believe it, to call half of the population who voted for Trump “deplorables” and “irredeemable” a few weeks before the election is pretty poor judgment for a candidate who says she wants to be a President of all Americans.  It was not an attack on Trump – it was an attack on all of white male, heterosexual middle America and on people participating in the political process.  It got them to put down their beer and Doritos and go vote.
And we, the bi-coastal Empire of America, Inc. of media, arts, hedge fund managers, professionals and tenured academics, those who give lip service to democracy but really believe in a Platonic intellectual oligarchy sat in stunned incredulity as the Deplorables’ votes were counted and a sea of red engulfed our dumbfounded sputtering fellow travelers on TV.
We are in varying stages of grief.  President Obama correctly noted that on the day after the election the sun duly arose in the east at the appointed hour, but we have one friend who announced that she is withdrawing from Facebook and from society in general to nurse her wounds on a mountaintop.  The administration in formation is not what we expected or would choose, but time will tell if it is Apocalyptic. 
The Empire however, does not miss a beat, and We will neither acknowledge defeat nor give Ourselves a moment of uncertainty.  As I write these words the Grey Lady’s online front page screen says (i) Trump has been sued in his businesses, (ii) Trump is dividing Republicans on who should be Secretary of State, (iii) Trump built a wall at his golf course in Scotland, (iv) Trump will unravel climate agreements, (v) Florida citizens will lose health care, (vi) Trump manipulated fake news from Russia, and all that is what is “above the fold”.   The drumbeat of self-delusion goes on.    NPR reports that school districts are deploying grief counselors to treat the children for electoral post-traumatic stress, and yesterday a talking head was telling Us how to deal with Trump supporters who might “gloat” at the table because they feel that stupid people were not given enough respect.  Seriously.   The Empire Strikes Back.
The rabbi, like President Obama took a more measured approach.  The rabbi said first that maybe, just maybe We don’t really know as much as We think, that some degree of humility might be in order.  I thought that was a vicious attack at the belly of the beast.  Then he said that perhaps We should get out of our silos, as though the thought of taking a deplorable or an irredeemable to lunch could be a whole new thing.   The Liberal Manifesto is 10 years old.  On the whole it has aged well.


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