We haven’t done one of these for a good long while, have we?
Apologies for not making it in for a third post last week. I’ve been preoccupied. We’ve all been preoccupied. And I think this will be the last post until after Tuesday, because I’m out of things to say about our current situation and I have to organize and pack supplies for the longest possible shift Tuesday. Instruction guides, fully charged extra cell-phone battery, snacks – you know the drill. I’m slated to be at the same precinct I worked in August, on the east side of Detroit. The action will be downtown, at the TCF Center, where the absentee ballots will be counted. But I’m content to do my part in the field.
If anything noteworthy happens at the polling place Tuesday, I’ll tweet. But I’m hoping for a nice, quiet-but-busy, anticlimactic E-day.
In the meantime, I’m going to do a thing that doesn’t exactly calm me down, but helps dissipate some of the anxiety: Cleaning and laundry. Any bloggage? Eh…how about this elegantly written but ultimately lightweight essay titled “How Don Junior became the future of Trumpism:”
After four years in power, Trump is, characteristically and axiomatically, unchanged. He is what he has always been—a creature made merciless by his inherited privilege and stupid appetites, a slave to vanity shoved haphazardly into an expensive suit, a dim country club gossip who watches too much TV and wants to be famous. Trump’s most ambitious son shares that curdled understanding of who he is and what he deserves, and is just as relentless and just as hungry.
They are telling the rest of us, everywhere and every day, what they want and how they intend to take it. At bottom, this is nothing more than the plump, pink privilege of all the people at Mar-a-Lago getting righteously wasted off toast after fulsome toast, because those seething and freshly liberated burghers are what Trumpism is and whom it is for. Trump is an aspirational figure in the sense that he promises his acolytes the right to be as brutally free and unaccountable as he is. That is all his movement is. For all the talk about making America great again, his project has transparently always been about keeping this tenuous and untenable moment from tipping into any kind of future; it is about maintaining control, whatever that means and at whatever cost; it is about every dying and unworkable thing remaining exactly as it is.
Donald Trump can only be himself, and he just so happens to be the perfect avatar of every rancid revanchist American impulse that made his celebrity and ultimately his presidency possible. The combination of Trump’s sincere desire to have and keep and control everything in the world, and a nation too confused and too weak to tell him no, has been catastrophic. His brutal legacy is secure in all the worst ways, and the mere fact of his presidency will make any number of treasured old falsehoods about this country impossible to believe in the future. His most ambitious son clearly wants some of what his father has, but it’s unclear whether he is more than just another follower—one of the many faces in the burgeoning crowd of Americans who no longer feel compelled to honor anything but their own appetites.
Elegant writing has been one of the few consolations of the past four years. Not that it’s done much for us.
I leave you with one more picture from this morning. Love that Portrait mode on the iPhone:
Good luck to all of us. See you on the other side.