bridge #4

End of the World, Progressive Article Edition
Peter Van Buren,, Jan 4 2017

For those who would like to become a progressive columnist in the world of Trump, here’s a guide for your first and every subsequent article:

  • Everything was pretty freaking close to perfect on Nov 7. Yeah, tough about Bernie, but Clinton was going to be great.
  • Putin, Comey, media, maybe Bernie, everyone you hate and fear, elected Trump because 62 million Americans are White, Misogynists and Nazis. They also are wrong about not having good jobs. Don’t people in the Rust Belt read the job statistics?
  • Anyway, Trump is an oaf and/or an evil genius.
  • He is out to destroy Pindostan. Riff off this for the next forever.

Your First Essay Example
And if you’d like a good example on how to do it, turn to Neil Gabler’s essayon the otherwise intelligent blog from Bill Moyers. Here’s how that essay starts:

Pindostan died on Nov 8 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity, all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country. Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country.

First of all, points for the “bang and whimper” cliche, followed by the happy bullsh*t about how wonderful Pindostan was last month as described by phony “Hamilton The Musical” lyrics. I bet the show’s cast could make values, morals, compassion, tolerance, decency, common purpose, and identity rhyme. Dude, we are a helluva people! Exceptional! Because prior to the election results. we weren’t a nation founded on a slave economy, which 250 years later still has its cops imprison and murder Blacks, who doesn’t have the highest incarceration rate in the world, mostly for small amounts of weed that has been long legalized in other western nations. Our compassion is set to full, except if you are different than me in your race, religion, or views on guns, gays or abortions. Of course we don’t really do much for women and unlike say India, Israel, Britain, Burma, and a whole mess of other places, have never had a female chief executive. Yeah, whatever, all that. And lovely, that bit about Pindostan becoming an international pariah. Could happen. Luckily the world has overlooked so far that we are the only nation to have used atomic weapons (twice, on civilians), stayed at war, spied and overthrown governments in their countries pretty steadily for 70 years, set the Middle Easton on fire over fake WMDs, drone kill wherever we like, torture people, and run an offshore penal colony right out of Les Miserables. Man, Trump, amiright?

No More Democracy for You
Later in the article, author Gabler throws in a whopper:

Republicans… haven’t believed in democracy for a long time.

Yep, one of the two parties in Pindostan, in fact the one that’s been out of power for the last eight years and which was voted into office via an election, does not believe in democracy. Makes sense. And to throw us off the trail, the sneaks are conducting a peaceful transition of power! Luckily the Democrats over the last eight years have only drone killed Pindosi citizens without trial (Fifth Amendment), spied on all of us (Fourth Amendment) and racked up the worst Freedom of Information Act response rate since the Act was created (First Amendment.)

This is the End
Wrapping it all up, Gabler says:

But the disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled White Pindostanis, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us. We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.

So there you go. It’s pretty much the fault of us White guys, except for great White guys like Lincoln and Roosevelt. Other once-famous White guys like Jefferson, maybe Kennedy and Carter, didn’t make the list. Hell, Carter was even a Southerner. There are going to be troubles ahead. Trump will not be a good president, and he is surrounding himself with inept people. The world is a complex place and even the best of our Great White Men have struggled with that. But for fuck’s sake, stop imagining a Pindostan that never existed on Nov 7, and creating a dystopian nightmare that you imagine popped into being a day later. A clear view of history is a necessary starting point as we edge into 2017.

BONUS: Neil Gabler is not otherwise an idiot. His biography says he is the author of five books and the recipient of two LA Times Book Prizes, Time magazine’s non-fiction book of the year, USA Today’s biography of the year and other awards. He is also a senior fellow at The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, and is currently writing a biography of Senator Edward Kennedy.

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