The 2016 presidential election posed a grim choice: “I’m with her” Hillary (note how her slogan was not “She’s with me,” because she wasn’t), and Donald Trump. I chose neither.
The best descriptor of our current president is Joe Bageant’s: “a careening set of brainless balls.” (Joe wrote this long before Trump became a candidate.) Lately, those brainless balls have been careening ever more violently into racist territory, yet his support seems as strong as ever. Something is rotten in the State of America, and it won’t be cleaned up even when Trump is gone. As I argued in this post from May 2017, America’s values are seriously screwed up. With allegedly devout Christians embracing Trump as some sort of prophet if not savior, you just know all of this is not going to end well.
Joe Bageant was a remarkable writer, the author of “Deer Hunting with Jesus” as well as “Rainbow Pie.” A self-confessed “redneck,” he worked his way into the middle class as an editor, but he never forgot his roots in Appalachia and the subsistence farming of his Scots-Irish family. Bageant had a brutally honest and unadorned way of speaking and writing, and also a great affection and deep respect for traditional communal values in America.
The other day, I was reading an old essay Bageant wrote, “Live from Planet Norte” (June 2010), long before Donald Trump was even remotely considered to be presidential material. As usual, Joe nailed it:
[I]n the process of building our own gilded rat-cage, we have proven that old saw about democracy eventually leading to mediocrity to be true. Especially if you keep dumbing down all the rats. After all, Dan Quayle…
View original post 415 more words