This country is well into its sixth decade of absurdist politics. Wait. Let me make that clearer: there have been weird moments all along, but always in a cocktail mixed with earnestness and hope. Even the brash (Teddy Roosevelt) were relatively mature. But since the 1960s (with 1968 as the turning point), we’ve drunk our absurdism straight, with not even a chaser. We’ve become completely desensitized to being manipulated. We nod glibly when a Washington, D.C. personality flings an accusatory “Kabuki theater” epithet at an ideological opponent (even though they shouldn’t), without considering the “play within a play” (within a play, and so on, like animated Russian dolls) happening before our eyes.
So it’s good to have—like the person who shared it on Feisbuk described it—a refreshing look at what really are the causes and effects of the current political maelstrom. Regardless how your political views compare with the author’s, this piece by New York Magazine’s Frank Rich lays out a case for Donald Trump’s candidacy being like chemotherapy to a cancer-ridden political system. (That’s my analogy, not his.)
The billionaire businessman’s campaign has caused consternation among everyone except his ardent supporters. It has outlived all of the pundits’ lifespan predictions. But what does it mean? And how did we get here? Rich’s essay digs way into our political psyche. The only thing I think he leaves out—and this is a huge miss, don’t get me wrong—is honest treatment of how riling up the aforementioned supporters’ white nationalist urges is dangerous to the health of our nation.
But I do like that it has a sidebar from a co-writer of Bulworth.