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The Winter of Our Disrespect?

May 18, 2018

This spring is the veritable winter of my disrespect, apparently.

I have been bedeviled by American politics for more than sixty years.  In such a long watch, I might have seen the worst during the first decade, or somewhere around the middle or so.  I’ve seen Joe McCarthy, Nixon, Reagan, W.  As it happens, the worst is now.  Our pr*sident, in addition to being out of his gourd, psychopathologically disempathic, making a mockery of life, but with no sense of humor, is a common, mediocre real estate crook and self-publicist, an NYC/NJ mobster, but with international pretensions, whose major policy goal, besides enriching himself, is to destroy everything admirable that was accomplished by his predecessor, because that president was black and once made fun of him at a televised dinner for journalists.

The party that put this dis-grace in power has aspired to one-party, fascist rule for decades, and now is doing its damnedest to get its wish fulfilled.  In polls, even after a year of this disastrous pr*sidency, 80+% of self-identifying Republican voters still stand by their man.  His base is so rabid that this party’s members of the House of Representatives will not speak ill of him because they fear being voted out of office if they admit the truth.

And yet, the current journalistic theory of why voters in the Heartland voted for him (granting sexism, racism, xenophobia, etc.), and would do so today, is that they feel that they are not respected by people who live on a coast.  As I do now.

(Here, in the interests of full disclosure, I must note that my view of these deluded heartless is clouded by experiences when I lived in the largely fundamentalist district that elected Mike Pinch to be its congressman, and went for Trompf/Pinch against Clinton by 42%—and, redrawn, just nominated P’s older brother to stand for that seat.  Lordy.)

But do I respect them?!  Of course I do.  As beings, humans, suffering persons rowing beside me in the floundering boat of life, I respect them wholeheartedly.  And I respect them as fellow-citizens, whose right to vote, equally with mine, has been protected by hundreds of thousands of young citizens who died in battle, just within my lifetime.

But do I respect their ignorance, their foolishness?  Do I respect them for their sexism, racism, xenophobia, etc.? Do I respect their selfishness, their maliciousness, their viciousness?

Hmmm. After all, many of them know not what they do.

Maybe their god will forgive them for that.  Maybe their god will forget them for that.  I doubt that He respects them for it. Why should I?

[Dear readers who agreed with this page also liked the pages (so far) of “The Verdict Is In.”]

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