Thursday, February 23, 2017

View From The Cheap Seats

Guest bloggers are filling in for Declan while he is on vacation. Today Paul Piatt is here with his views on politics and culture.

From where I'm sitting way up here in the nose-bleed section, it sure looks like Barack Obama kept his word about fundamentally transforming the United States of America.  Andrew Breitbart is credited with observing that politics flow from culture.  If this is true, then Barack Obama poisoned the cultural headwaters of America, and it's above flood stage.

I've only been around for half a century and politically aware for about the last 15 years or so, but I cannot remember a time when everything was so hyper-politicized.  Consider the Super Bowl.  Most of the buzz before, during, and after the game was about whether the half-time performance would be a big in-ya-face moment to the President, how exciting, progressive, and impactful the advertisements were, and how the flow of the game mirrored the 2016 election.  People were rooting against the Patriots simply because some of the people in the organization had amicable relationships with the President.  Of all the reasons to hate on the Patriots (and as a Steelers fan I know many), THAT'S the one they selected?  It's mind-boggling. 

Political beliefs are now our national measuring stick.  If you own a clothing line and you express support for the wrong side, you can expect a boycott, some clever but probably inaccurate memes, and your celebrity endorsements to vanish.  “Hey, let's go see a movie tonight.  How about ______?”  “No way!  That movie was directed by __________, who supports _______________.”  Sitcoms, sketch comedy, late night hosts, music videos, the list goes on and on.  All poisoned with the venom of partisan politics.

Some folks might want to point to President Trump as the cause for all this angst.  He is certainly a polarizing figure, but his presidency is a product of Obama's legacy of fomenting strife and division.  That's all Obama had to offer.  Truthfully, the Left is legislatively dead; they have nothing but the same tried-and-failed policy proposals they've always had.  That's why they keep changing their label, from Democrat to Liberal to Socialist to Progressive – it's just brand new lipstick on the same ugly pig.

The 2016 election results certainly disappointed a great many people.  I appreciate how much effort and passion they put into supporting their candidate.  Unfortunately, many of them are just unable to process the loss and move on.  Instead, they insist #NotMyPresident and use every opportunity to broadcast their opposition to the new administration.  Some people had to get guidance on how to “survive” a family Thanksgiving or Christmas because of who their family voted for.  Some folks chose not to get together at all.  The other day I read where a woman initiated divorce proceedings because of who her husband voted for.  Madness, I say!

President Trump won a close race.  His margin of victory in the “Blue Wall” states that put him over the top (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania) wasn't all that great, and had the wife of The Man From Grope Hope, Arkansas, not been such a miserable candidate she might have won them.  Republicans would do well to remember that and moderate their “scorched earth” urges.  I believe their best hope for ensuring the Democrat party remains the minority party for years to come lies with peeling off Democrats who were left behind or demonized by the identity politics of the Obama administration while simultaneously finding ways to work with traditional Democrat party leaders like Senator Manchin, Jack Webb, and Representative Gabbard. 

Note that I am NOT saying the GOP should surrender their advantage, that they should try and make nice with pit vipers like Pelosi and Schumer, nor should they hold back pushing forward a bold legislative agenda designed to reinvigorate and restore this nation.  I'm saying do all that and more, but don't make enemies of the folks on the other side who are open to sane policies.

I do my share of making fun of Leftists, mostly because they are so entertaining to watch.  That said, I've been making an effort to avoid confrontations that I know will go nowhere.  My SJW snowflake and I were sitting in front of the TV the other night and she flipped over to MSNBC which was aflame with the latest crisis of Trumpian proportions.  This has been dangerous territory for us in the past, but she turned the TV off and said, “Dad, I'm exhausted by all this.  How do politicians sleep at night?”  I laughed, because I feel the exact same way. Yes you. The one that just finished reading the post. I've got something for you. A free copy of Bad Date by Declan Finn. Just sign up for his email list to get it. You'll also get 2-3 emails a month from Declan with added extras that no one else gets, plus advance notice of sales and appearances. It's an easy success...go for it.

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