Friday, August 12, 2016

A Fistful of Dolors

My father, who would be celebrating his 98th birthday this year, were he in any condition to do so, was a US Army captain during the Second World War, serving in the North African and Italian campaigns. Being fluent in the Italian language, both parents having been born in the old country, he was often called upon to speak with the civil authorities of small towns and villages under new US control as the army made its slow way up the peninsula.

"We were never fascists", was a common enough refrain from the freshly liberated, he told me. "But those people," the speakers would go on, indicating the next village over, "they were fascists."

"Yeah, sure" was dad's answer to such intelligence.

I bring up this anecdote as an antidote to the latest crop of stories from political writers straining to find something useful to say now that DT's shitshow has become boring, that tell all who'll listen that the real problem with the GOP nominee is not that he'll win, but how he's racialized and radicalized the political calculus in the nation for a generation.

Few want to be associated with failure, especially those who are not true believers in the first place. And it's a safe bet that a goodly section of DT's supporters are currently going along for the weird kicks the ride offers. A lot of them are going to hop on over to Gary Johnson by election day. I'd say over half of the remainders will deny everything after the inevitable loss. The hard-line balance, maybe 20% of his voters, will stew in their mad juices, as the inevitable toll of old age, and firearm calamities, winnows away their numbers.

And though the Gone Old Party has a stupidity and racism problem that seems likely to cost it, or whatever's left of it, a great deal of power at the federal level, the idea that a new white people's movement of newly energized voters is somehow going to pull any weight whatsoever is pointless handwringing from people who should know better.

No comments: