Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
If you haven’t run across this piece by the excellent essayist, Rebecca Solnit, you’ll want to set aside a few minutes to read it. She tears Donald Trump a new one, but in a way that is so intellectually apt that it feels more like analysis than ire.
In a phrase, she has him pegged as a rich boy who has surrounded himself with people who can’t say no to him. This is devastating for our country.
It’s an especially good time to get focused on who this man really is, after his disingenuous and foolhardy rejection of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change last week. There’s nothing pithy or remotely lighthearted to be said about it. We’re on the precipice of a not-so-metaphorical abyss, with consequences that will affect all future generations of humanity. In his statement withdrawing the U.S. from the accord, Trump badly misrepresented the nature of our obligations. It’s clear he was speaking exclusively to his base, who will be wondering in the next few years why they can’t get flood insurance or how come a three hundred year drought comes every two years now. They won’t blame Trump for the absence of new jobs in the coal business, though. Reckon they’ll blame the liberals somehow.
Solnit’s tone is just right:
Some use their power to … live in the void of their own increasingly deteriorating, off-course sense of self and meaning. It’s like going mad on a desert island, only with sycophants and room service. It’s like having a compliant compass that agrees north is whatever you want it to be.
The problem we all have with this president is that, in the ant farm of his mind, he is always right and doesn’t need to consider any evidence that contradicts him. It’s wrong. It’s fake news. But in following that different drummer he’s marching to he’s going to take us all over the cliff with him. Climate change is real. All the scientists say so (the real ones, anyway), and the tipping point we’ve been approaching will come and go. Down down down, and I don’t mean the temperatures.
I fear that even worse things are on the horizon, and all because even a hard-ass patriot like H. R. McMaster can’t say no to this guy. I won’t even give name to the things I’m afraid of so I don’t sound like the Little Red Hen. It’s bad. It’s catastrophic for humanity. But because Trump is surrounded by yes men it’s all highly possible even if improbable.
God effing help us. The best we can hope for is Solnit’s last line:
One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.