Crazy People with a Lever

I hope nobody is still hanging onto the idea that we can have “return to normalcy” after Trump leaves office. If last week’s Democratic debates proved anything, it’s that the freak dam has been breached, and there’s no going back.

When the 2016 election delivered unto us the “punch-in-the-nuts” vs. “kick-in-the-nuts” choice of Trump vs. Hillary, it was obvious that the process by which we choose our leaders is badly busted. Out of 300+ million Americans, there are clearly better choices for president than the ones we get. The people who run your local Chick-fil-a are better in every way than almost any nationally known politician — better at administration, better at public relations, better at common decency and honesty. Also, better at making chicken sandwiches.

And yet, we keep getting what we get in elections. By which I mean, the most buffoonish, rapacious, and self-aggrandizing examples of the human condition possible. I mean, just look at those nimrods. Would you trust any one of them even to water the plants in your house while you were away on vacation?

So, is this the part where I weep for the collapse of our culture and fear for the future of the republic? Well, no, not exactly.

As I’ve mentioned before, the people who really care about politics are only a small subset of the population of the country. And as the Trump era proceeds, it seems our political representatives are less and less representative of real Americans. By which I mean, Americans who live in reality.

Really, deep down, who actually thinks it’s a good idea to remove all border controls from a country? Deep down, how many people are really cool with the idea of crushing a baby’s skull as it exits the birth canal? I don’t think it’s that many, and yet these are positions strongly held by pretty much every candidate of one of the major political parties.

These kind of politicians are rising to the top not because America’s gone crazy, but because that small subset of people who really care about politics — and who, increasingly, are crazy — are in total control of the levers that magnify their political strength.

You know what I mean by “lever,” right? Long handle with a fulcrum. Enables a small person to move a big, heavy thing. That’s what we have here. People who are weak, ignorant, and few in number, but they have the levers — media, technology, educational institutions — to perform intimidating feats of strength. Like bending the culture around themselves.

Numbers-wise, they would be easy to defeat. But everybody on the other side has to show up, and they often don’t, because they’re not part of that small subset that really cares.

But 2016 happened because they did show up. Seeing what the Democrats have to offer, one can only hope that they can show up again.