In Search of ‘Reset’

As the passage below from a Reddit post below illustrates, many seek collapse, doom and gloom, or reset – to change the ‘game of life’ that they perceive as rigged or unfair, seeing Trump as a ‘messianic’ figure who will reshuffle the deck, with frustrated voters hoping they will get a better ‘hand’ under a Trump presidency:

If there’s a global emotional illness related to economic decline, my suspicion would be that it’s a form of collapse-impatience. The bottom fifty percent of America (as well as most of the developed world) is gradually being pressed into a corner, with rising student debts, rising rents, declining real wages and a general decline in their standard of living. They’re reaching a point where they’ve had enough and just want to see the house burned down. People don’t complain or riot, because they feel too backed into a corner to do that.

Related: The Millennial Backlash Against The Baby Boomers

Which seems to echo what I wrote in a 2014 post, Our New Era:

…Because it speaks about the New Era which we’re all living in – a reality that is unmovable and omnipresent. It’s indifferent to our wants, needs or desires. Either you adapt, thrive, or fall between the cracks. The rest of the world is being molded in the likeness of Stanford, rather than Stanford resembling the rest of the world. In an era of economic abundance, scarcity is prevalent – by design. This may seem unfair, but in a hyper-meritocracy like we have today, not everyone can reap the fruits of prosperity. Some will be left behind. Others think it’s a phase that will pass- that once a threshold of inequality is breached everything will come crashing down and the game will be reset, the deck reshuffled, and the cards re-dealt.

…and from Ross Douthat about the rise of Trump:

That rise has four building blocks. First, his strongest supporters have entirely legitimate grievances. The core of that support is a white working class that the Democratic Party has half-abandoned and the Republican Party has poorly served — a cohort facing social breakdown and economic stagnation, and stuck with a liberal party offering condescension and open borders and a conservative party offering foreign quagmires and capital gains tax cuts. Trump’s support is broader than just these voters, but they’re the reason he’s a phenomenon, a force.

Ross Douthat is like that savant who can draw a cityscape from a single helicopter ride. There is so much detail in his articles. He seems to have his pulse on society, politics, and economics better than any other pundit.

This part is also interesting:

Others, especially in the intelligentsia, have a kind of highbrow nihilism about our politics, a sense that American democracy’s decadence — or the Republican Party’s decadence, in particular — is so advanced that a cleansing Trumpian fire might be just the thing we need.

I have also noticed a trend of smart, well-read people (the opposite of the stereotypical Trump supporter) supporting Trump or rebuking childish leftist criticisms against him. [1] Trump represents an honesty, rawness, and purity that is missing from politics, even if the intelligentsia don’t agree with most of his policies.

It’s also interesting how we’re all taking about the same stuff even though communication is limited to some forums and blogs, with distances between individuals. It’s kinda fascinating how converging ideas spring into existence from disparate sources, whether it’s Reddit, New York Times, or blogs.

The game likely won’t be reset, sorry. Economically, Europe (except Eastern Europe) has been circling the drain since 2008, and will likely collapse economically and socially before America does. It just keep getting worse and worse there. But same for Brasil and other emerging economies.

[1] An example is given here discussing a blog post by he Archdruid Report.

A second example, on Salon, is a professor who is a Sanders supporter, rebuking the media lies about Trump that ‘all Mexicans are rapists’ when Trump clearly didn’t mean that.

You might well dislike Trump’s words. I did. But let’s not make it worse. He did not say that all Mexicans are rapists. Yet that’s what many commentators did. For example, Politico misquoted Trump by omitting his phrase about “good people.” They said he was “demonizing Mexicans as rapists.” They argued that Mexicans do not really commit more rapes in the U.S. than whites. But that’s not what Trump claimed.

Third, Camille Paglia, professor of University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a Clinton Democrat and libertarian who opposes laws against prostitution, pornography, drugs, and abortion, prefers Trump over Hillary.

This fiery endorsement blew me away because it demonstrated how Trump was directly engaging with a diverse coalition in ways that the mainstream media had completely missed. I felt, and still do, that Trump is far too impetuous and thin-skinned in his amusingly rambling, improvisational style. The American president, who can spook markets or spark a war with a rash phrase, must be more coolly circumspect.

Nevertheless, Trump’s fearless candor and brash energy feel like a great gust of fresh air, sweeping the tedious clichés and constant guilt-tripping of political correctness out to sea. Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose every word and policy statement on the campaign trail are spoon-fed to her by a giant paid staff and army of shadowy advisors, Trump is his own man, with a steely “damn the torpedoes” attitude. He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal.