Jay Meehan: The case for 2020 pessimism
“A pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts.”
~ Edward Abbey
“The horror… the horror”
~ Mr. Kurtz, “Heart of Darkness”
Like many on the progressive left, I’m in love with this brash new set of young Democratic candidates with their hats already firmly planted in the 2020 presidential ring. Not that I am confident that any of this hoopla will lead to the unseating of Trump, however.
I’ve seen this movie before and if there remain doubters as to the box-office power of the horror genre, well, just remember, it’s never too early to begin stockpiling your popcorn condiment stash with the latest painkillers from Big Pharma.
The deregulation of oversight, no matter the planetary downside, has corporate profits overflowing into the coffers of Trump’s reelection war chest at a rate that matches the brimming pre-election overconfidence of the left. Just like last time, the numbers are again showing the sheer impossibility of a Trump victory. And that scares the hell out of me.
Now, if this pathetically insecure narcissist currently running the show had anything that demonstrated a sense of learning or having had an epiphany in his past, maybe a miniscule sense of hope might linger.
But this cat ain’t no Theodore Roosevelt. And there doesn’t appear to be a John Muir waiting in the wings to take him camping in the Mariposa Redwood Grove or along the grand vista of Glacier Point overlooking Yosemite Valley. Possible nudging toward any sort of macrocosmic outlook is not in evidence.
Au contraire! His “drill baby, drill” bunch continues to lick its chops as fossil fuel leases are handed out across the west’s sacred landscapes with little regard to (surprise, surprise) the ever-dimming hopes of climate justice.
No, if the needle is to be moved, the country is going to have to take a good long gander at not only his tax returns but also recordings in properly translated English of his and his cronies’ money-laundering talks with the Russians.
And I don’t see that happening, even with the new Democrat-infested House of Representatives with its Constitutionally empowered investigative appendages. If he’s learned anything since assuming office, it’s that changing-the-subject has become his get-out-of-jail-free card.
I mean, as insipid as the State of the Union speech appeared to those with a modicum of deductive skills, he hardly missed pushing a correct button according to his base. While we busied ourselves guffawing at the buffoonery, they were lapping it up as a sermon from the mount.
And, if you think he hurt himself with those folks during the past couple of years by not following through with even a miniscule number of campaign promises, well, you have your work cut out for you if you think you are going to convince me. As long as their perceived enemies are railing against him, he remains their hero.
I’m not saying that if there were to be a doubling-down by the activist community that a late groundswell couldn’t shift the paradigm, but, again, I’ve sat through this particular film reel before and, so far, it hasn’t ended well.
It’s not that I’ve lost total faith with the electorate, but when you combine my feelings in that neighborhood with the Republican efforts at reducing voter turnout along with its rather well-camouflaged gerrymandering, I’m of the Missouri persuasion. You’re going to have to “show me.”
The true horror, of course, becomes evident when one looks back at the devastation that has occurred during the first couple of years of this administration. Imagine six more. And, even if he’s ousted, the bitter aftertaste of his passing through will no doubt exhibit a half-life in the ‘Bismuth” range.
If I’ve missed bashing anyone of my friends and acquaintances on either side of the aisle, myself included, it wasn’t through lack of effort. It just felt good to “go there,” as it were. It’s as if raging against all the machines has a purifying effect. Damn, I hope a mechanism surfaces that removes this guy from office sooner rather than later.
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant, and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social and political scenes for more than 40 years.
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