Dealing with a Snit
by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 9, 2020
We wonder if it is safe to begin recovery from the US election hell week and the four years of disaster before it. Recovery was not a likely outcome of the election even with a clear and expanding victory for Biden and Harris, but there is always hope, however, constrained.
Monday brought no surprises in any form. Trump continues to be Trump in a snit determined, as clinical psychologists all made clear, to refuse to admit to losing because he can't accept any reality, not of his own creation. We knew that, and he will keep it up until he realizes no one is paying any attention to him. Then he will become very dangerous.
With a short attention span that could come at any time. With luck, Trump will continue his snitty defiance and fire more of his own people who are out of work anyway in two months. The long-expected firing of Mark Esper seemed to be a relief to Esper if not to Trump.
This suggests a variation in the transition with Trump’s remaining stooges working on getting fired to gain credit in the real world. That’s a nice win-win with Trump getting to fire people in his ongoing snit and those people able to remove some of the smell of having been a Trumper. Given the reported difficulty of staffers who have begun circulating their resumes getting anyone to return their calls, Esper may present a route to salvation.
For the rest of us, keeping Donnie busy sending termination tweets with endless golf days could reduce public anxiety. We all know that this cannot end up as an ordinary Trump snit, so it is best to brace for major explosions. Sorry. I wish this were different.
It is hard to feel sorry for the folks on the wobbly Trump bus who keep testing positive for Covid-19. What did they expect? Some of them, Ben Carson, for one, are old enough to be at extreme risk and, as a surgeon, should have known better, but they choose to live in an alternate reality with a higher death rate for reasons beyond their understanding.
And that suggests a way that this could play out, although it will take a parent’s patience with a difficult toddler. When they have a tantrum, get them in a safe or safer place and let them wail. That seems to be the generally agreed approach in Washington, although each group gets to interpret what is happening for their own audience. McConnell can claim to be supporting Trump’s ridiculous claims of election vote-rigging while everyone else gives them time to get Trump into his big boy pants.
This may be a careful and remotely managed agreement between McConnell and Biden. After all, they are long term members of the old boy’s Senate club. This smacks of the realpolitik to such an extent that Henry Kissinger could dodder in at some point.
As long as Trump is prevented from getting his hands on anything dangerous, let him go. Biden's heavy first-day list already includes executive orders to begin correcting all the damage while beginning to restore some part of the nation’s credibility. This is a dangerous ploy, but with corrupt Senate leadership unwilling to take any responsibility, there is no reason to waste energy on vengeance displays.
We have far bigger disasters to deal with, and we cannot let anything get in the way of restoring climate crisis controls and rejoining the Paris Accord, WHO, and the planetary alliances that are the only means to succeed or even survive. As many of you know, I have long maintained that the nation-state is terminal as it cannot work efficiently at the planetary level and is a near consistent disaster at administering human social structures. It is too big for local democratic administration and too small, inefficient, and easily corrupted for planetary administration.
Human communities are now increasingly virtual, as well as geographic. The great fear of neofascist movements as represented by the failure of the US Republican Party is that a racist opportunist such as Trump would create a simmering, urban civil war. In America, the two unreconcilable populations are not neatly divided by states but by neighborhoods.
This produces the horror of ethnic cleansing pitting diverse neighborhoods against themselves or the long slow disaster of low scale urban insurrection and periodic bombings. That will destroy more than the US area of North America but the hope for environmental repair and economic restructuring at the planetary level.
Perhaps, if the Trumpists remain committed to their own reality as a negative of the majorities’ reality, we let this devolve into virtual communities with their own administrations and courts but with no land ownership. Communities could vote themselves into one reality or the other.
While that might seem strange, I think it is very close to what is happening in all cultures. A small benefit is, unlike secessionist nation-states, virtual communities are not that far apart, and people unhappy with a community could move without even changing jobs. There would be brutal hardships and costs to this, but it would beat continuous urban insurrection.
But we are not there yet. There is clearly hope that allowing Trump to have his time out with repeated kicking and screaming until he wears himself out and with social media taking, finally, responsibility for labeling lies and conspiracies will get us through this. If the heavily armed neo-Nazis are allowed to be driven to action by lies, another approach will be needed.
This isn’t going away anytime soon. We have a significant portion of the population that is now irrational and have spent years consuming lies. Within their own communities, they have no reason to change as long as the pipeline of lies and racist manipulation continues.
Stopping the open distribution of propaganda and lies is a very complex problem, and the existing loosely representational governments are not up to that challenge. That is a structural problem that will continue to be ignored in the US until that is no longer possible.