So can we admit democracy is a mistake yet?
Let me back up. So In case you’ve been under a rock this week the comedian Kathy Griffin did a photo shoot thing and in one of the photos she was holding Donald Trump’s severed head. Not the real one, I’m guessing you all would have heard of the lady from the D list killing the president. Anyway, Everyone went nuts. The right called for her to be tarred and feathered, Trump pretended his son thought it was real, and the free speech warriors all forgot their twitter passwords. Now look it was a horrible thing to do. She apologized, got fired, and all was right with the world.
But for some reason this story sticks in my craw and it’s not just because there but before the grace of a larger platform go I. I think its because, and I’m not the first to point this out, NOBODY gave a shit when republicans did the exact same thing. I mean a casual google of the words “obama noose” will yield picture after picture of…NOT comedians doing this to obama, to his wife, to his children and we all just sort of shrugged and went…ah…racists. What are you gonna do right? I mean Ted Nugent who, again, is NOT a comedian on purpose said way worse things and continues to and Trump himself came to his defense. Guy got a visit to the whitehouse.
And I already know what you’re going to say. Come on, Eli. Take the higher ground. What do you want to stoop to the level of Ted Nugent? You wanna have the same moral consistency of Donald Trump? And I think my answer is kinda because I gotta be honest, the view from the high ground…sucks.
I mean look at Merrick Garland. It’s just one in a long line of cheap tricks the republicans have pulled to get their way in this country and then they burned the bridge behind them. And sure the democrats played by the rules, we maintained the higher ground but Gorsich is still in there ya know? The human lives he’ll cut short and make more miserable will not be comforted by the fact that we had the higher ground. More and more it seems to me that the “higher ground” is a privilege of the unaffected, a consolation prize, a participation trophy.
You know everyone always tells me what a great system democracy is and I have to admit it sounds great but hasn’t it obviously shaken out not to be the case? Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not stupid. I know we don’t have a true democracy. If you wanna run this country you need a certain amount of wealth, privlege, education, etc. but the need to please people without those things brings all of that down to the lowest common denominator.
And reflect for a second how it feels to hear that sentence. Right? My immediate reaction is, what are you saying people without a certain amount of education aren’t fit to lead the country? Are you saying the uneducated less fit to lead than the educated? But isn’t the answer of course? Like replace any other job and the answer becomes obvious right? Are the uneducated unfit to be our doctors? Are you saying the uneducated aren’t fit to build our hydrolic dams you pompous ass? Am I crazy? I feel crazy.
I remember my social studies teacher asking us once in 6th grade why we thought the most knowledgeable person in the united states wasn’t the president and at the time I didn’t have a good answer but my honest reaction now is because we refuse to tell people who are wrong, that their opinion doesn’t matter.
There’s no more serious DEBATE about climate change than there is about what 3 plus 3 equals so why are we having this conversation? When as American’s did we lose the god given gift of any bar trivia team to say “hey man. You don’t know what your talking about. Shut the fuck up.” When did proving all truth to the individual satisfaction of the least knowledgable including the dishonest become the intellectually admirable?
And morally how much good is the higher ground going to do us. Look, Trumpcare isn’t going to make it past the senate but lets say it had a chance. Let’s say there was a real CHANCE that 23 million people will be kicked off their health insurance by this political version of knight to up the nose of your opponent and we had the democratic equivalent of the filibuster to stop it. Is there any conceivable world in which that would be a morally worse idea? I mean Trump just pulled out of the Paris climate change agreement sending a message to the world that we’ll be back in three years but sorry this four year cycle we decided to let racist uncle dave who has school of hard knocks undereducation on his facebook profile make the decisions for the world
I mean based on that alone think of how much better the world will demonstrably be if everyone switched to a truly popular vote system. Sure wyoming is fucked come national election but wyoming gave us Trump. At what point do we go “ Hey wyoming we got this enjoy your…google google…um wide open spaces.”…thats literally what cam up dont be mad at me.
And I know what your thinking. Eli, sure that sounds great to me but what are you gonna do when Mike Pence thinks the same thing about New York but that brings me back to the original problem of having to pretend that Mike Pence isn’t wrong. Its like people who say “yeah obama started all this executive order stuff” well sure he did but thats cause I trusted him with the tools. Fuck if were talking about things I trusted obama with that I dont trust Trump with LETTER openers make the list but to me retrofitting power to the dumbest piece of shit who might grab it seems to have gotten us where we are. A series of checks and balances obliterated by the monkey wrench of appeal. We’re the richest country in the world with the potential to truly lead us into the future but is somehow still arguing about whether the ability to make a snowball means that the earth isn’t getting warmer.
And look I want to be honest right now and say that as I write this, this FEELS like one of those arguments I’m going to come to disagree with. Someone super smart is gonna super clearly point out to me why I’m wrong on a practical level. And I wanna hear why. Not in a “yeah but the human spirit” level and when it does I’ll write another blog disagreeing with myself but until that happens…I gotta say it seems to me the purpose of the higher ground is to look over the fields of bodies of everyone who wasn’t so lucky.
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