News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Every village has an idiot. Some folks thought the nation needed one.

Trump supporters complain that Trump dislikers think they are stupid.  But when they offer reasons for supporting Trump, they cite false facts and are incoherent.  The only ones whose reasoning contains anything akin to veracity are the ones who say it was about time we had a dumb dolt for president; they are weary of those who act presidential.

That explains what many people see as the explanation for America's descent into a demented state.  Whether one liked Obama's politics or not, he was a scholar of Constitutional law, eloquent, a man of integrity and social grace.  Except to those who would apply the n-word to him, of course.  But the question is how could a nation go from electing a man of his decency and dignity to choosing a churlish ass like Trump?  However, H. L.Mencken predicted it:  " On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

There is no excuse for not knowing what a depraved person Donald Trump is.  As Trump closed in on the Republican nomination, the conservative establishment led the discussion about his deficiencies and disqualifications to be president.    In the minds of the mentally functioning conservative leaders, the choice facing America was not  a matter of partisanship.  It was a matter of recognizing a person whose depravity and gross defects of mind and character were well known and out there for all to see.  Trump represented a perversion of the principles on which our democracy is based.  People voted for Trump not because they were ignorant about the kind of person he is, but because he represents their values.  And those values have nothing to do with freedom, equality, and justice for all.  They are the values of greed, malice, and oppression.  America has a large contingent of the population who are grotesquely stupid and simply not decent people.  

The news cycle is organized around the daily question of what the nation's moron has done or said for the day.  His supporters will fawn in adulation over his latest affront to decency, while others will register how much closer it has moved America to being a "shithole country."  

It is a time of strident social protest, but the protests do not just make corrections in the symbols of our values, such as with the removal of statues honoring the Confederacy.  They also unleash the idiots.  A group recently demolished the statute of a soldier in Madison, Wisconsin, but it was the statue of an anti-slavery militant who was killed as an officer in the Union Army.  Such stupidity reduces protests to acts of mindless vandalism and simply adds to the general stupidity.

Anti-Trump people can be vocal and demonstrative, but they can also be stridently stupid.  And ultimately, Trump is not all we need to rid the country of.  He is merely the expression of a country caught in a struggle to see whose kind of stupidity will win.


1 comment:

Eve Fisher said...

“One of our signature flaws as a species: we will risk almost anything to avoid looking stupid.”
- Emily St. John Mandel
Not to mention do, say, or swallow anything if we think it will make us not look stupid.
Anything but - God forbid! - change our mind.
Explains a lot of human history, doesn't it?

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States