I received the first negative review of my book. All publicity is good publicity, so I’m not heart-broken over it. The review is very poorly written, and I’m having trouble figuring out what it is that the reviewer is objecting to. Take this statement, for instance: “Although the purpose of this book does not go deep into this debate, these questions are evoked from the pages.” I have no idea what this means, but I’m glad the reviewer who commands such linguistic prowess doesn’t criticize my writing style at least.
The reviewer criticizes my suggestion that we all engage in “communal living.” As anybody who read my blog even for a week knows, words “communal living” terrify the bejesus out of me, so it’s kind of odd to assume that I would ask anybody to engage in it “to combat neoliberalism.” So yeah, let’s definitely not do any communal living, whatever that is. What is it, by the way? Living in hippie-style communes?
The foaming at the mouth over entirely anodyne comments Trump made in Helsinki should be prompting us to ask what it is the shriekers are trying to conceal. Some idiot wrote that “Trump betrayed every American citizen” yesterday.
It’s unclear what Trump could have done to avoid being accused of this massive betrayal. Sock Putin in the face? Enter into a childish game of “Yes, you did! – No, I didn’t! – You did, too!”? Fall on his knees and wail, “I recognize I only won because of your help. Hillary is the true president!”?
Merkel and Macron wait for Putin to come to meetings for hours.* They are well-aware that he tried manipulating elections in their countries AGAINST them. Yet they smile, shake his hand, and say thank you and please. And unlike Trump they promote Putin’s financial interests. Ukrainian president Poroshenko meets with Putin, shakes his hand, and calmly listens to his assertions that Russia never invaded Ukraine. Are they all committing treason?
Obama calmly listened to Putin tell him things his intelligence contradicted and acted like the lies were true. Yeah, Putin is a liar. He denied invading a country, which is something that is easier to prove than nebulous election interference. And Obama never threw the massive proof he was lying in his face.
The folks who shriek “treason!” have their hands in our pockets. They are being dishonest and manipulative. Let’s not buy into this ridiculousness.
* Putin has a KGB habit of showing up hours late always. Only once did Merkel refuse to wait, giving Russian dissidents fleeting hope she was going to start standing up to him.
Democrats spent years being trounced in elections at every level. When they lost the election to Trump, they could have started looking at reasons why voters don’t want them. They could have started finally to elaborate answers to the pressing issues of the day. They could have started addressing voters’ concerns over globalization and fluidity.
But they chose not to. Instead, they gave voters a raging Trump hysteria. The non-stop shrieking and screeching about Trump masks how little of value they are offering to us. We are supposed to vote for them not because they are good but because Trump is so horrid that we should disregard the emptiness at the heart of their program.
I don’t think this will backfire in the electoral sense. I think they will win in 2018 and 2020. What is it that they will win, though? Other than the right to continue not doing anything of value, that is.
As 19th-century theorist of nationalism Ernest Renan said, when politicians try to appeal to your emotions, that’s because they are hoping you will switch off your reason.