January 21st, 2017

The Peaceful Transfer of (Too Much) Power

I have to admit, I was amused by this:

"Here’s the thing: I’m a libertarian. I’ve been surrounded by people who don’t agree with me for as long as I can remember and it has never occurred to me to isolate myself from everyone because of our political differences. Certainly not to assault them. Nor am I filled with anxiety by the thought that people who work in my home might have different political views than mine. To me, you’re all a bunch of fascists. But I’ve somehow learned to live with you."

On the other hand, as Tom Wolfe so pithily put it:

“The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.”

Here I am, at 64, with more faith in my country than a lot of my countrymen seem to have. I don't think this will be the end of freedom here. I think Americans love freedom in their hearts, even when they embrace theories and politicians with tyrannical leanings. And I think James Madison gave them a written constitution that still, after two centuries, gives them the ability to protect freedom.

When I say that Americans love freedom in their hearts, that's a metaphor, that's metonymy, using a body part to stand for a whole self.

As Rand wrote:

'An American is an independent entity. The popular expression of protest against "being pushed around," is emotionally unintelligible to Europeans, who believe that to be pushed around is their natural condition. Emotionally, an American has no concept of service (or of servitude) to anyone. Even if he enlists in the Army and hears it called "service to his country," his feeling is that of a generous aristocrat who chose to do a dangerous task. A European soldier feels that he is doing his duty.'

I think the two-party system has its strengths, and that even though both parties have deep faults, it's important to rotate them periodically. It may not be the best method of self-rule, but it's what we've got.

This president is definitely giving me a science-fiction vibe. I under-estimated the man's ability to get elected. I don't feel that I really understand him, but he does remind me of people I knew when I lived in Queens, which is where he grew up. He's a familiar sort of character in that respect.

My countrymen do not always do what I think is sensible. They have their peculiar enthusiasms. But I grew up with them, I live with them, and on the whole I love their company, those of both parties, and those of no party at all.

Although I'm concerned and a bit perplexed,
I'm waiting to see what happens next.