Hey there, faithful readers! I know that I’ve been rather neglectful of the blog lately, for which I apologize. There’s just been so many crazy stories, imbroglios, upheavals, and brutal (but sadly not surprising) acts of violence that I’ve been plagued by analysis paralysis.
Suffice it to say, it’s becoming more arduous to keep up with all the wackiness and turmoil – for better and worse – that’s increasingly characterizing 2016. To start off on a lighter note, I’m going to talk about sports, one of my less discussed passions. Those who share my passion already know that just over a month ago, the NBA concluded one of its most exciting seasons in recent memory. The 1996 regular season record of 72-10 set by the legendary Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls was eclipsed – by the Bay Area based Golden State Warriors, no less. The Warriors set additional records for the best start (24-0) and road wins (34-7).
But unfortunately, ignominious postseason endings tend to overshadow regular season glories; blowing a 3-1 NBA finals series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers earned the Warriors a more dubious distinction as the first team to squander that kind of advantage. On the flip side, the Cavaliers made history in their own right by bringing the long-suffering city of Cleveland their first sports championship since the year of the Civil Rights Act. That burning river must now seem like ancient history.
Speaking of Cleveland, Donald Trump was recently anointed the Republican nominee at the Republican National Convention; and despite all the handwringing about the fascist hatred engendered by Trump’s speech, the Donald has only improved his chances of winning the White House.
If you had predicted just one year ago that Cleveland would bring home a championship and hand Donald Trump the Republican nomination in 2016, most people would have thought you were nuts. Yet here we are.
Of course, the world doesn’t revolve around Cleveland. This article from Der Spiegel does a pretty good job (even though I don’t agree with their ideological spin) of summing up the general sense of global instability and unpredictability that has characterized the past couple of years:
The biggest geopolitical stories of our time are the destabilization in the Middle East, the European security order and the European Union. In addition, there has been a societal shift in many Western countries: Many citizens are angry at the elites, because they see themselves as victims of globalization, free trade and migration. This anger has enabled the rise of political movements from the fringe to the mainstream in only a few years: Donald Trump, the Brexit movement, Front National and the Alternative for Germany, or AfD. The classic political camps are dissolving as the battle between the political left and the right is replaced by one between Isolationists and Internationalists.
In so many words, the force is out of balance. As much as liberals and conservatives might have disdained one another in the past, their bickering over pet causes like abortion and gay marriage has given way to something much more serious: the intractable divide between multicultural globalists and populist nationalists. Like Harry Potter and Voldemort, neither can live while the other survives, rendering compromise close to impossible.
Here’s my response to this great unraveling: bring it on! The reason why I continue to harbor some measure of optimism is because I know that the rotten status quo is coming undone. Even if the ice queen Hillary Clinton ultimately gets her crown – due to a high turnout of non-whites and progressives biting the bullet and voting for her out of fear of Trump – there will be few illusions about who or what she is. The Democrats won’t continue to get away with peddling identity politics while kissing Wall Street’s ass.
On the flip side, even if Donald Trump loses, Trumpism will not be repudiated; the GOP won’t get away with reverting to the usual hackneyed platitudes about the “Constitution,” “limited government,” and freeing the “job creators.” Republican elites will have to contend with an incipient white nationalism, even if they kick and scream all the while.
And of course, on an international level, fewer people are buying what the globalists are selling. Our globalized elites still wield incredible power, and their predatory influence won’t abate anytime soon. Nevertheless, they can no longer hide; more people are now onto them. Consequently, this bizarre zeitgeist that combines cultural leftism, neocon imperialism, and pro-1% economics increasingly lacks legitimacy
We can only hope that the turbulence of 2016 further chips away at our untenable system. After all, if Cleveland can win an improbable sports championship, then there’s no reason other interesting things can’t also happen. Stay tuned.