Readings

And the bombardment of ideas and pictures into my life continues, day after day, and to many of which I respond, if only with a head shake, yes, that’s right, no, that’s wrong, he’s wrong, or she’s wrong and I move on.

But there are those many writings containing ideas I want to somehow hold onto, in my case that meaning entering copies of at least parts of them in my files. What I don’t want, but what too often happens, is that they, the thoughts I’ve somehow registered in my notes, will still slip away from me, eventually disappearing from even my memory, and I won’t see or hear from them again. That being the fate of most ideas and things that I encounter in this life on earth, the earth itself being so far anyway probably the very last in line to finally escape me.

But as for those things that find me out in my life from day to day, mostly when at my computer or with my iPhone in hand, these things I’m now calling Readings. This is when I’m reading someone else’s words, what someone else has written, often just a few words or paragraph or a bit more, that which I would have liked to have written myself.

There’s no particular order to the Readings that follow. I’ve taken them all from my own notes, still with me somehow, words that I’ve transcribed, because of my interest and or delight I’ve found reading them, onto iPhone, computer, or even the back of an envelope. In each instance I’ll try to say right after the words or thought I’ve transcribed what was it that drew me to the writer’s thought.

“Alienation,” the sociologist Robert Nisbet wrote, “is a state of mind that can find a social order remote, incomprehensible or fraudulent; beyond real hope or desire; inviting apathy, boredom, or even hostility.”

It was the word alienation that struck me, because I had encountered it recently a number of times, it being used to describe the Trump voters (Hillary’s deplorables), and account thereby for their continued support of their candidate and now president. For given the abysmal performance of President Trump during his first months in the Oval Office, given his blatant lies, his utterly complete absorption in himself, his inability to listen and learn from others, his ignorance etc. etc.  why did they, do they stick to him?

Why did/don’t they not run away. The reason has to be that Trump spoke, probably without realizing it himself, to their alienation from what they held most dear, from their own country, or at least from that which in their eyes their country was fast becoming. They were alienated because of what was happening about them. They didn’t like what their country was becoming. And they stuck with Trump because he was the best means of undoing the power and grasp of those who were taking their country from them.

Who are these new deplorables?

deplorables
Credit Nick Cote for the New York Times

Supporters of President Trump during a rally at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. 

Roger Cohen in a recent Times op-ed piece has them saying such as the following: 

God put us on this land and now we’re not allowed to make a profit as a result of all the environmental regulations and I have to subdivide and sell out while the welfare queens collect handouts because they’re too lazy to work.

People have to choose between heating their homes, buying food or buying health care and you want them to worry about the survival of the planet or transgender stuff? I respect business and I distrust government. That’s the American way. I don’t want illegal immigrants taking our jobs. I don’t like liberals who shop at Whole Foods talking down their noses at me because I shop at Wal-Mart. White lives matter, too, you know. That woman forgot that — and lost. We lost our discipline and our moral code in this country. So we need honest Trump to shake things up.

We need God back in our schools. We can’t just condone anything our kids do. Nobody’s gonna run God or guns out of our country. I don’t want anybody telling me I can’t defend myself. I don’t want to take a knife to a gunfight. Don’t tell me I can’t have a gun if the crooks have one. It’s a matter of taking care of myself. If this country ever told me I couldn’t have a gun, I’d be out in the streets.


And along side what’s on these people’s minds, most of what is going on in the US Congress, and the White House, does seem a lot like Fake News. And then there’s God, in particular religious freedom, and there are the Guns, and defending the country. Alongside of these big things, God and country and guns, it does make what the national media are addressing every day kind of trivial if not what Trump would have it, fake news.

In other words the people are alienated. They’re losing the country they knew and loved and they see only Donald Trump ready to throw himself on his sword in their defense. And lest you forget Donald Trump of course will not be shed from this presidency until we realize the extent of the people’s alienation and begin to address it.

Not hopeful about that… while more Readings to follow.


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