Everyone seems to want to make the world better. Some people define “better world” as a world that is best for them. But others — like RG’s readers — want an authentically better world for all groups in the long run (as well as other species — let’s not forget them).
But to make a better world it seems reasonable that we first need to try to understand the world! To help us understand the world, RG is proposing that we use the dialectic.
The use of this conceptual tool seems especially applicable in trying to understand what in the heck is going on in contemporary politics!
I recently listened to President Obama’s farewell address. I was very impressed. This speech — many agreed that it may have been his best — may go down in history, since he laid out his version of a plan for the future.
Being a sucker for a good sales pitch, I was convinced — and still am — that, all in all, he was a pretty good President. And I was impressed that he set out his goals and accomplished many of them — especially Obamacare.
And maybe, compared to Obama, Donald Trump will be a disaster.
Then, soon after, I listened to Trump’s first press conference since being elected. This was in the middle of a credible accusation that the Russians had crippling information on him, that may doom his Presidency.
Again, being a sucker for a good presentation, I was very impressed by Trump. I thought, “perhaps he will be a good President. Perhaps he will institute a permanent functional immigration policy. Perhaps he will reverse out trade deficits. Perhaps he will do something about welfare and crime. Perhaps he will create jobs where people produce something rather than push papers.”
Trump was merciless in his denunciation of “fake news,” the intelligence community and CNN. I felt that if this “news” actually turned out to be fake, then CNN and the Intel community would have mud in their faces. If the news turned out to be true, however, Trump’s presidency may be doomed. (Although, I have to admit, I have said Trump was doomed at least five times in the last year.)
A few nights earlier I listened to the Golden Globe Awards and heard Merle Streep’s withering attack against Trump, with virtually all of the Hollywood attendees fully agreeing.
Liberals often attack Trump for his denigrating comments against others, but who’s calling the kettle black? I’ve never heard anyone denigrated to the degree than Trump is denigrated by the Progressives. I have no idea how he can take it. I would have quit politics a long time ago.
I never have even heard Hitler denigrated in such evil terms. I have even heard not a few liberals, who are now depressed, say they would actually be happy if Trump were assassinated. They never said this about Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan. Obama’s biggest critics heaped praise on him compare to how the Progressives talk about Trump. It’s pure hate. And could it be not only hatred for Trump but hatred for his supporters (the deplorables) — all 45 million of them — as well?
So, how can we understand this phenomenon?
One possible way is to see the conflict as class warfare. Only instead of the rich versus the poor, or the whites versus the blacks, we can see it as the beautiful people versus the deplorables.
Each of these groups have a basic Idea, and this Idea clashes with the Idea of the opposite group.
The beautiful people are comprised of the following groups of people: the Hollywood stars, academia, the press, the youth, the entertainers, the lawyers, the government workers (with their lucrative salaries — 25% above private employees), Progressive politicians (with their wealth — except for Bernie Sanders), and the “victims” of the deplorables (African Americans, illegal immigrants, criminals, people of color, and poor people).
The deplorables are comprised of lower class whites, the working class (especially coal miners, farmers, laborers, cab drivers, janitors, and others who get their hands dirty), Conservatives, Fox News audience, motorcycle riders, Country/Wester singers, Southerners, Mid-Westerners, businessmen, construction workers, evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, and the majority of voters outside of New York City and Los Angeles County.
The beautiful people are better looking, more educated, wealthier, and better spoken. They have a clear air of superiority towards the deplorables.
The deplorables, on the other hand have their own sense of superiority. They feel they practice better religious values and do the all the basic work that make the economy function. They obey the laws and produce something — while the Progressives take from their produce, distribute it to the deplorables’ “victims,” and take a cut for themselves. The deplorables see themselves paying for all the lofty ideals of the beautiful people.
The beautiful people meanwhile pontificate on how the deplorables should think and act. They can’t understand why everyone isn’t as beautiful and morally pure as they are. They see themselves as the natural aristocracy of the society, while the deplorables are……..well, deplorable.
We can see the current polity as a dialectical clash between these two groups, each with their own beliefs, lifestyles, and spirits. We can see Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as an historical embodiments of the Idea of the beautiful people and Trump as the personality that embodies the Idea of the deplorables.
We can look forward in the next for years as some sort of synthesis between these two Ideas.