I forgot to write a second post last week, even though I was supposed to keep up a pace of two posts per week. I’m going to blame this one on Thanksgiving, and having to spend many days entertaining family members and dealing with the cold I got last Sunday, which is still lingering in the form of post-nasal drip that makes it hard to sleep without a coughing fit. Had it not been for all that I would have written. I promise.
Anyway, I don’t have that much to write about today in terms of personal struggles, but one thoughts that’s been on my mind is the planet’s impending doom. Shockingly, that’s been on my mind a lot. Really, it’s a testament to the amazing power of the human psyche that we aren’t all obsessed with the planet’s impending doom litterally all the time, now that we know that it’s happening on our watch. I think we get a lot of practice in this area when we are tempted to think about our own mortality and have to shut down those thoughts with a colorful array of distractions, so it isn’t a huge logical step to assume we’d be capable of continuously shutting down thoughts that maybe the whole planet is in the same situation we are, mortality-wise.
The thing I also think about a lot recently, is how much my fear of Trump being able to slide the country into a fascist dystopia has subsided after the election. It may be wrong that I’m no longer as concerned about this as I was, (we may be in just as much danger), but I’m okay with the possibility of jinxing it by making the following statements: It does seem to me that both Trump and Trumpism were just pretty roundly rejected by Americans this month, and the only reason Democrats didn’t take the Senate as well as the House is because of the anti-democratic nature of the Senate, which protects the priorities of low-population conservative States at the expense of high-population liberal ones.
It also seems to me that Trump’s tweets and stupid, delusional musings about how popular he still is are going to look increasingly pathetic to a larger and larger subset of Americans during the next two years. He won’t need much help from Democrats in trying to make his agenda seem small, petty, and largely incoherent. Meanwhile, you’ll probably have 20 Democrats running for President against him, and the media will be plenty interested in the horserace involving each of them, too.
The campaign the Dems ran in these recent congressional races employed a strategy of largely ignoring Trump’s lame antics and focusing on the issues important to their constituents, like health care. It also seems to me that making the next election about Trump is bad politics for Democrats, as most Americans have already made up their minds about Trump, and, at this point, just want to see if the Democrats have anything to offer them besides reminding them how shitty Trump is. There’s an opportunity for Democrats there that connects with the recent prominence of dire climate change warnings in the news.
My sense is that the Dems running in 2020 could effectively remove Trump’s behavior, tweets, racist statements, etc… from their crosshairs and focus on a grand vision of how they’re going to tackle climate change so that new, green jobs can become abundant, and that natural disasters such as the hurricanes and wildfires we’ve been getting battered with over the last several years can be minimized. Sure, there are a lot of people who still deny the effects of climate change, but it’s not a majority, they’re all solid Trump voters anyway, and this current climate crisis seems like a good way to stoke a patriotic fervor in Americans that is not done on Republican terms. Essentially, what’s needed to defeat climate change is the same mentality that Americans had during World War 2: The notion that it’s our patriotic duty to sacrifice, innovate, and save the world. This would be a great force to activate if there’s an inspiring candidate among this upcoming batch who can harness it. And obviously, putting the US on “war footing” against climate change is infinitely better than going into an actual war because it would stimulate the economy, offer Americans a shared purpose, (should they choose to share in it), but without killing anybody.
Americans want to lead at something, and we really have a moral obligation to do something to save the world from the pollution and global devastation we had a large hand in creating. Why couldn’t that be the thing we focus on in 2020, not Trump’s non-stop tantrums?