I think we would all like to forget about politics for a while, but like Colombo said, “Just one more thing,” and I’ll be brief(ish).
Condolences to republicans who are grieving Trump’s election loss. Obviously there was hanky panky with ballots, even at a glance. Did deeper into the numbers and Benford’s Law of unnatural distribution clearly indicates the implausibility of some of the vote counts in key areas. Overall, however, the malfeasance of both parties tends to balance out, and we are talking about a difference of over 4 million votes. Let it go.
We’ll be arguing about this election for years, or for as long as short term memory holds. My first message today, however, is for the core of the President’s base, the millions of Americans, and the over 80% majority of our home town folks who say they are Christian.
Here’s what you’re going to do. (I know you don’t like being told what to do, but I’m hoping you’ll hear this in your head in Rip Torn’s voice from the movie, “Defending Your Life.”) You’re going to pray for the new president . You’re going to forgive those you think have trespassed against you, and you’re going to move on. There’s work to be done.
It’s in the Book: Pray for “kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Render unto Caesar. Pray for your enemies, especially if you think your fellow Americans and people who voted differently are your enemy. The Book is pretty clear on this. These are not suggestions, and The Book is not a one issue book.
The message for the democrats is a bit more complicated. To begin with, congratulations. Many of you worked hard; you worked smart, and you worked passionately.
Don’t let it go to your head. This has all the earmarks of a Pyrrhic victory. The so called “Blue Wave” gave out long before it reached the shore. You lost ground in the House. You lost ground in local elections and state houses. You lost at least 5 governors. Americans don’t like socialism, and they don’t like being called various forms of “deplorable.”
No, you don’t have a mandate. The “racist” president got more non-white votes than any republican since 1960. The “hater” got 45% of the votes of gay males. And if you intend on “reaching out” as Michelle Obama so superciliously suggested, to the millions who saw the great evil of Mr. Trump but voted for him anyway, then you’re going to have to stop thinking about your fellow Americans in terms that differ from a racial slur only by virtue of the subject matter.
One of the most enduringly distasteful thing about elections is the absence of common sense in the rush of idealism. Here’s the problem with idealists: Truth, honor, even decency take a back seat to “The Great Cause.” You can’t reason with an idealist caught up in a partisan cause. The ends justify the means. This is particularly damning for democrats right now. When the euphoria wears off, think about how consistently media incorporated worked to suppress dissenting voices and non-woke opinions. It’s OK because republicans suppress votes, right? We’ll ignore hard evidence that can indict our candidate because The Cause is more important. (This has been equally true of republicans.)
Think about it this way. Cheaters in relationships never stop to consider that the character flaw which allows the cheating partner to betray their relationship will still exist in the new coupling. If corporate media will betray the trust of the Fourth Estate to further the current political cause, what will stop them from betraying you when their agenda is at cross purposes to your own?
Finally, for left and right and for all concerned, there’s a fundamental fact about humanity that is consistently overlooked. A brief review of history, and especially the history of warfare, should be all you need to confirm this for yourself. It is helpful for understanding why the leaders of nations say one thing but do another, and why politics is a distraction from the true business of running the world. Democracy and our republic, the freedoms we enjoy, the street level reality of all the ideals and platitudes we wave about like flags in a parade, are rare species in the history of humanity. Human rights, equality, diversity, social justice, even legal justice, are empowered by a healthy economy, and a healthy, sustainable economy is only possible when this one condition is met: The availability of cheap and abundant energy.
I’m concerned that too many Americans now believe that coercing the former conjures the latter. It has the opposite effect. I’m also concerned that too many in government believe it can all be paid for by conjuring pixel money which is backed up by nothing but coercive power. Conservatives have ignored deficit spending during 4 years of Trump all the way back to the Bush Administration, and democrats who ignored Obama’s spending will continue to look the other way when their party accelerates that spending. Modern Monetary Theory, in effect, is fatal to free markets. It also gives government, and its host of unelected officials, what must feel like a phenomenal cosmic power to monetize the human condition, and that has never ended well on this itty bitty living space.