Let’s talk about Fight Club.
Last year, on September 12 and November 5, articles about Donald Trump by yours truly were published on Clash Daily. They are still available for review so I’ll spare a reprise of their content here. In short, they questioned Trump’s authenticity as a Republican and as a Conservative.
What a difference a few months makes. No, I’m not saying Trump is a picture perfect Republican and Conservative. I am saying things have veered way off into surreal territory in large measure because of Trump.
Tyler Durden famously said, “…I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect, I say let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may”.
We’ve entered Tyler Durden’s version of Presidential politics.
A big part of this is the surge in interest among those that normally don’t care about primaries and instead sit things out until general elections get going. After all, on Super Tuesday the most searched items on Google were:
When is Super Tuesday? (Yes, on Super Tuesday people were wondering when Super Tuesday was).
– What is Super Tuesday?
– Why is Super Tuesday important?
Political junkies read things like the above, facepalm, and wonder how so many can be so ignorant of electoral processes. I don’t see it that way. In 2016 an unprecedented number of Americans are involved in the political process and for them things like Super Tuesday are strange in the same way Tyler Durden making soap from human fat is strange.
There are examples of pure civic ignorance out there though, mostly left of center. Things like:
If Obama doesn’t pick a replacement for Antonin Scalia, any time the Supreme Court is deadlocked Obama gets to cast the deciding vote. (In the real world, if and when the Supreme Court can’t come to a decision then the last verdict issued by the next lower court stands – the President doesn’t have authority to decide Supreme Court cases).
– Give people housing. Take vacant homes, rehabilitate them, and then give them to the people. Everybody deserves homeownership. (To paraphrase Baltimore mayoral candidate Nicholas Caminiti).
– “Bernisota. Feels good to know I don’t live in an a## backwards states #notaflyover”, so said a Facebook post that celebrated Bernie Sanders’ Super Tuesday win in Minnesota. (Note the desperate need to connect Bernie and Minnesota with other “non-flyover states” – Liberals have always hated “flyover country” and will stretch the very fabric of time and space in order to portray the places they live as not being part of “flyover country”).
Or this Bernie Sanders meme found on Facebook accompanied by the remark, “I haven’t questioned him since the first day I started believing”:
Had the little Bernie Sandersista stopped behaving like a lock-step conformist(a) the Sandersista might have questioned:
– 1962 to 2016? How come in 54 years of work Bernie Sanders hasn’t checked off any of the line items on his social justice to-do list. If you hired a plumber in 1962 to fix your toilet would you still support him if in 2016 it was still stopped up? Plumber is an appropriate comparison here considering the crap Bernie’s been assigned to fix as per the meme.
– End the war? In 1962 American involvement in Vietnam was very limited and it wasn’t thought of as a full-scale war. Nor were there people protesting it in America. Heck, The Beatles didn’t even arrive in America until 1964. Granted, being far leftists, the Sanders crowd probably isn’t referring to actual wars but rather their weird idea that a hegemonic America is repressing people of color wholesale around the world. The left loves to co-opt language for their own purposes.
– Spread the love? But what about the articles that appeared in the AP and Seven Days Vermont describing Sanders as an angry, abusive bully towards his staff?
– A Lincoln Chaffee quote about consistency? Lincoln One-Of-The-Most-Inconsistent-Politicians-Ever Chaffee? Chaffee’s changed party affiliation more often than some change their underwear. In state government (Rhode Island) he routinely changed positions on any number of issues – and sometimes took opposing positions on the same issue dependent upon which Rhode Island city was involved. Consistency? Like that of nacho cheese.
Right of center, the problem is broader. On one hand, there’s Donald Trump. He’s leading the Republican primary field but he’s got a track record that isn’t wholly Conservative. This alone isn’t surprising. Unlike the left where every Democrat is a Liberal, on the right not every Republican is a Conservative – think George W Bush. In any case the result has been:
Chris Christie’s man crush on Trump is on par with the adoration middle school girls have for Justin Bieber.
– A Jerry Springer-like display in which Trump, Rubio, and Cruz engage in the equivalent of taking three angry cats, closing them up in a sack, and letting them fight it out while Kasich stands off to the side twitching his jaw in that awkward way he does whenever he’s asked a question.
And Mitt Romney. Make no mistake, someone somewhere inside the Beltway put down his scotch, slapped the table, and said “bring on the Mitt”. With little else to do these days Mitt Romney eagerly answered the call to engage Donald Trump directly. Because Mitt is? Mitt is? Well…
If you’re a Beltway insider you think Mitt Romney is the firebrand Republican get’er done guy. You think everyone looks up to Mitt in the same way Chris Christie does Trump. He’s Mitt! Right?
For everyone else, Romney is “that guy”. The shoulda coulda woulda. Indeed, had Romney engaged Barack Obama with the same force and sense of purpose he’s used against Donald Trump it’s quite possible Romney would be running for his second term right now and Democrats would be struggling to find someone to run against him.
That said, Republican ignorance is two-fold:
Antics like theirs don’t do a whole lot to take on Hillary directly. While Trump, Rubio, Cruz, and sometimes Kasich trade body blows, Hillary campaigns as a general election candidate. She gets to pitch her platform. Undecided voters looking for a Republican alternative instead get to hear about spray tans and who sweats more than who. Where are the substantive discussions on policy and our nation’s future? Is it any wonder Hillary’s poll numbers are looking pretty good these days?
– Mitt Romney, and whatever Beltway genius that dug him up, ought to have taken a page out of the Democrats playbook. John Kerry never said a bad word about Al Gore, or vice versa, when he ran for President. Even Hillary was smart enough to shut up once Barack Obama emerged in 2007 as the Democrat nominee. Trump versus Romney is about as appealing as that woman on Judge Judy that sued her Baby Daddy for the car he didn’t buy her last Tuesday. Yet the Republican establishment thinks that employing the Mitt today is a great idea.
At root of all of this is the discontent both parties have sown. Democrats have done so by inexorably moving far left – so far left that centrist Democrats like Jim Webb fizzled quickly in their primary process. Republicans have done so by taking control of Congress and doing nothing. And by failing to address what Tyler Durden described as: “our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off”.
Durden of course is a fictional character. He gets to vanish into oblivion once the movie’s over. We all are still here in realsville. We get to live with this mess.
(a) As a former leftist, I can attest there was a time in which Liberals lived to “question authority”. No more. Today’s left-wingers are the most lock-step conformist bunch history has ever seen.