I think this will be a short blog today. I am definitely getting some rest on my vacation. I’m not sure about relaxing. My BP has been edging up. But what the heck. I am enjoying this time of being with Eileen, reading and practicing on my synth.
In my dream last night, young people were literally shooting themselves in the hand. One young man was pointing the gun at his armpit. I think this might have something to do with pondering media illiteracy. Getting older is an isolating experience for someone like me who loves to learn, who loves clarity and treasures civility.
Watching the travesty of Donald Trump’s behavior as our president reinforces some of the dismal stuff I feel. Every time he acts in a boorish manner and is called to account (mostly by the left) I get a sinking feeling that those people who take Fox News and their echo chamber at face value are more and more drawn to him, cheering him on for sticking it in the eye of what they see as the elite left in media and government.
This is such a sad spectacle. After reading Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild, I am convinced that those who cheer Trump on and at the same time are likely to suffer from his domestic policies, that these people will choose anger and glee at seeing their enemies derided over practical effects in their lives. I can only see this as a tragic lack of coherence, self-destructiveness and a sort of (weirdly almost admirable) stubbornness.
You can see it in Kentucky. This state seems to be cheering on its senator, Mitch McConnell, and President Trump as they dismantle the national government. At the same time, they are in line to lose many recently gained benefits from Obamacare and government programs. I believe that both McConnell and Trump would be overwhelmingly re-elected by Kentuckians at this moment if there was an election despite this.
Then there are the more educated Republicans who are more in love with power than decency. How educated can they be in terms of ethics and logic if they can delude themselves that it’s worth losing the dignity of the office of the Presidency to destroy what Obama accomplished in terms of health care and tax cuts.
I think I can see why I’m not relaxing that much. My own mental health might not be that good. I don’t feel like I’m gaining much perspective on vacation.