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Whiplash politics.

October 17, 2017

Can you be for and against both Mitch McConnell and Steve Bannon at the same time?

That’s a tough sell when you need them both, but the President surely tried in his Rose Garden presser yesterday.

The resulting comments by the President, with McConnell standing at his side, were enough to give political observers whiplash.

Between “Mitch is my friend…”  to  “…that’s Steve being Steve…”  you can only imagine how McConnell felt.

The President has the unenviable task of trying not to lose support from two vastly disparate groups, the Christian conservatives, i.e. the so-called evangelical voters, and the more secular fiscal and policy moderate conservatives.

Bannon has a certain percentage of the Trump base in the palm of his hand. Diss him, and they may go away.

On the other hand, McConnell is held in pretty high regard by a large number of largely go-along to-get-along Senate Republicans and after all, those are the people actually doing the voting on the President’s policies at present.

Come down on McConnell too hard, and you lose crucial Senate votes.

And of course you have the left, which seems to want no United States at all.

Right in the middle of that culture clash sits the President of the United States, perhaps the least likely Solomon of all time.

Maybe this is a battle between good and evil, or maybe it’s simply about choosing between democracy and totalitarianism.

Whatever it is, the President isn’t the only one who needs to find a working balance or choose a side.  He didn’t create this cultural dichotomy.

You don’t need Steve Bannon to prove that 2017’s America is a coarser, meaner, more divided and less principled nation than it was in say, 1957. The proof is on your TV screens and on your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube feeds.

That has been evolving ever since the 1960’s, when it became cool to ignore conventional rules of society. Free love and free pot was the mantra of the day. Perhaps out of a lack of national backbone,  or sheer laziness, the country seemed to tacitly sanction it.

You almost have to have lived through that period to process it’s evolution effectively now.  Not that it matters at this point, because we are where we are, and that’s what needs to be dealt with at present.

Virtually nothing, no matter how gross, salacious or vile seems to be subject to even token moral disapproval and thanks to the internet we can’t seem to escape it.

Unless Russia has been running the longest psy-ops operation in history, that’s on all of us.

Maybe if the country can figure out where and what it wants to be, the rest will sort itself out.

From → op-ed

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