Friday, April 30, 2021

Religion in the public square - Donald Trump's presidency.

Dear Dave:

Did you read Rebecca Solnit's essay on Literary Hub on April 29, 2021 about Donald Trump's presidency? If so what did you think of the essay?



Dear Cora: 

Rebecca Solnit is one of those essayists that I want to like but I always find her work a little disappointing. She kind of makes a good point but then she skitters off into the bushes and winds up disappointing.

She started off strong with "The most valuable real estate Donald J. Trump ever acquired in his shady, shoddy career as a developer was the terrain inside our heads. And like so much else he got hold of, he wrecked it." I can resonate with that as can the cable companies who saw their ratings go way up and their advertising dollars soar. Solnit didn't make that point though although it has been brought to the public's attention many times - the idea that Trump is an entertainer not a good business man or a good politician, and we, the American people elected such an incompetent unqualified person to be our chief executive. 

Solnit writes "When the Biden inauguration happened, I was surprised to find that I was not uplifted or relieved, but freed to feel how hideous the whole thing had been, how damaged I felt—and I heard from many others who had the same experience. " Most mature people knew it was going to be a shit show when he announced coming down the opulent elevator and participated in the primaries. Who in their right mind thought this guy was qualified? The most surprising thing is that the Republican Party let him take them over. Who would have thunk that? I was surprised about it and hardly a peep from the pundits. From the grabbing pussy to the bullying nicknames to the bankruptcies and the scam foundation and bogus Trump University who didn't know the guy was a huge asshole? "Hideous" is hardly the word for it.

"There may be one salutary consequence of those four ugly years: the blithe confidence that “it can’t happen here” is gone, and people are more aware that rights and truth and justice need defending and are more willing to do the work " Becky, Becky, Becky, what makes you think that? Wishing for it, hoping for it, wanting it is one thing, Evidence that it is happening is something else. I don't see any evidence that the Republican establishment is growing up. They still defend Trumpism and not only double down, triple down, quadruple down, quintuple down. Lindsay, Mitch, Matt, Devin, Mark haven't changed a bit and they have given birth to more insanity like Marjorie Tayler Green.

Solnit ends her essay with this plum "Dread is a sense of wanting time to stand still, lest worse things come; and loathing is a desire to get away from the monstrosity already present. Those were the bookends to the Trump era and in between them was this turmoil in the White House, and the government more broadly, but also in the nation and in our own heads." And...............Becky...................... what?

I was once again disappointed. Solnit seems to be a whiner, a sophisticated "Karen" and she has her following, but beyond whining and pointing out problems I guess I am disappointed at her lack of solutions. Remember the old saying, "Don't come complaining unless you have suggestions for a solution."?

Solnit does do us a service by describing a phenomenon of embarrassment and shame of this period in American History but beyond that I am once again disappointed.

What will it take for Americans to recover from the disaster of the Trump presidency and get back on the evolutionary track of creating a better world for all people on the planet?

As Unitarian Universalists we covenant together to affirm and promote the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. This principle is further advanced than the majority of people in the United States. If people affirmed and promoted this principle they could have never voted for Donald Trump and the Republican Party that supports him. It is up to UUs to be the yeast in the dough to help our country rise again to lead the evolutionary development of a world where peace, liberty, and justice exists for all inhabitants of the planet/

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