We interrupt your regularly scheduled Progressive dreams for a news alert: You've Been Trumped by the Unintelligentsia!
First, a few definitions to help in clarifying:
1. Intelligentsia: is a status class of educated people engaged in the complex mental labours that critique, guide, and lead in shaping the culture and politics of their society.
This group is often considered to comprised of teachers, academics, artists, teachers, writers, journalists and the like.
1. Cards. (Noun) any playing card of a suit that for the time outranks the other suits, such a card being able to take any card of another suit.
- Often, trumps. ( used with a singular verb) the suit itself.
--definitions taken from Dictionary.com and Wikipedia.com
We all feel it. The USA and really the world stand on the precipice of governing bodies across the world that essentially have been handed over to business and Wallstreet-like tycoons. Not all governments but more than ever before. The exact opposite of what many of us having been asking for. Our only hope, privately, is that somehow they at least get some business end of things right. There isn't much else they have going for them on governing experience. Yes, it is the end of governing as we know it but that's what many Americans called for. It really all began for me after 9/11, then the last Bush presidency, the market crash and the final nail in the coffin, this election. When I began college around 2002, the halls were filled with foreign exchange students and residential students literally bursting the halls at Eastern Michigan University. EMU was a very affordable college and allowed those who weren't able to get into colleges like UofM and Michigan State a real great education. However, by the time I graduated, and we were heading toward the great market crash, the halls were so were underpopulated (especially of foreign students) that I envisioned dust balls rolling through. The halls brimming with people from many countries were the case no longer. By then, we had been through 9/11 and the market was on the verge of the biggest crash in history since the Great Depression. I now sit with a teaching degree with only being able to be a teacher's aide and can't afford to go back to add to my degree because it is now so unaffordable. Even though I work two jobs, my pay has been frozen for four years while administrators and CEO's still greedily hold onto austerity measures. My point being is that what we have elected are these very same type of people, business moguls who have no record of looking out for anyone but themselves and self-interest.
I think it is rather ironic that Donald's last name is Trump as he pretty much "trumped" everyone's elections expectations. Everyone made fun of the man and laughed till the cows came home...but eventually the cow came home and went "Moo!". It is also pretty much what has happened to the Progressive movement's influence on governing bodies across the world--our progress has been interrupted, disrupted, trumped, if you will, by another playing hand. We will now really have to put action to our money and words. We will have to be tenacious about the issues we care about and make those calls and emails to our leaders.
This hand over has happened under the guise of "Neo-Liberalism" that has been looming over the world stage like the Death Star for some time. It sounds like a good word, "Neo-Liberalism", but is really fascism branded in a new way so it is not as recognizable for what it really is. And while some cried about Obama bringing in socialism, they have yet to see that they were willing to look past fascists ideas because they were re-branded by a celebrity who spoke in simple sound bites and spoke to their anger. He spoke volumes to an unintelligent populace (unintelligent on the ways of governing). Trump wore a poker face and few believed he held a winning hand--even himself! Everything he slammed his opponent for "being", he is in spades and she (Hillary) never really was. But, he did such a good job that though evidence has disproved his claims. Offering no proof to his claims ever since the charges against Obama's birth certificate, Clinton's emails and Benghazi, Trumps shouts speak to the paranoia feeders who use such guises to hide behind their racism and hate for humanity. These people on that side refuse to believe the evidence or own the rallying cry of lies they joined in on because it disturbs their comfortable world view. This is a dangerous pattern because the president elect has already shown himself to not value the input of his own intelligence briefings or the secret service and instead not only doesn't consult with them before his very public twitter accusations but calls them liars. Yet, then he supposedly is upset because this is handle out in the public. The intelligent know and see him very publically lighting the match to these feuds and leaks that wouldn't happen if he didn't go around making assault on everyone in very public ways. Unlike all presidents, he has already shown a disregard for security briefings, dismisses reports that don't suit him, and has attempted to limit media access or answer questions with clear facts. As a atter of fact, he prefers to stay in Trump Tower as does his wife. Like Rapunzel who is shifty about letting her hair down, he is shifty about his roles in Washington and being held accountable, especially in the media. This shows to me how uncomfortable he is with the position he has been assigned. As long as it still feels like "business" to him, he is in his element. This was rather humorously symbolized in a clever MSNBC report entitled, "How Not To Run for President and Still Win!"
Look, no one wants to be seen as unintelligent. All of us are ignorant on certain matters. Governing is one of them where we all have our limits on understanding and certain things are "classified" that we will never know. It is kind of scary for everyone these days. Governing is complex and we as a people trust our government to act our behalf because we can't possibly understand and do it ourselves. Most of us humbly admit to such things. The Unintelligentisa cannot admit such a notion. They know even what they don't know and pronounce that they even know more than the government knows or is willing tell. They will yell over your facts as if that should "trump" the facts. To do otherwise and admit to being in error shames their sense of ego. Trump who doesn't really understand how complex systems of government work has spoken to a largely discontented, unintelligent (on matters of governing) simple minded populace that also doesn't afford to take the time to know how these systems work. They just "feel" the impact of things that what isn't working, cheered the man on who spoke their simplified unintelligent language, and made sure who he said was at fault was out of office and not concerned with who he put in their place.
In the empty void, that place of unknowing and worlds not understood, Trump spoke and crafted a story. The sound bits were apparently so good to this unintelligentsia that all he had to say was "not true" and they believed him over the facts that were recorded and played before our eyes over and over. He spoke with that "just a get 'er done" approach, which sounds great to the ear because who doesn't want quick solutions? However, a few mis-steps could cause severe damage. Yet, as one of his cabinets member said regarding China, "if they don't like it, screw 'em". How's that for an opening line to other countries from a Presidential Cabinet?
Trump stands as the symbol of the rise of the growing unintelligentsia. I don't mean this as the insult it sounds. I'm not attempting to categorize a group of Trump voters as somehow less than. I'm not even saying Trump is completely unintelligent himself. He certainly knows the business world better than I do. However, when I am speaking of an unintelligentsia, I'm taking it from the definition of its counterpart. I am speaking of a certain unintelligence that attempts to shape governing and culture without the wisdom of "teachers, academics, artists, teachers, writers, journalists and the like" but instead actually mocks those contributors. It is an unintelligence on matters of governing and important social issues. But it is also a bit worse than that because in most cases, this is a shield that hides a certain amount of racism and hate for humanity that they themselves cannot see. Higher education, for example, isn't essential to survive or to succeed in life but it is to rule a nation and interact with world leaders. For example, words on the world stage can inflame passions and make leaders...a bit trigger happy.., and if you are trigger happy on Twitter like a High School Tween, that can spell real trouble. So education and experience on these matters of governing and social issues are important. You can't walk onto the world stage all willy nilly. It is not enough to say that how we are now "isn't how we used to do things". I remember speaking to a Trump voter, a teacher no less, about the great programs a school has on bullying and LGBT support, and the man grimaced with a frown that reached down to carpet and said, "What a waste of money and time. This is just not the kind of world I grew up in and I want nothing to do with it." Yeah, why support our kids in areas where we didn't have support? What a waste of money...? Now, we have a cabinet member who aims to gut public education and privatize it with CEO's at the helm. I know how bad this can go because I've interviewed at schools with these CEO's and it is the worst vibe imaginable (But on this particular subject, the plan to disband public education has been in the works for years even under democratic leaders, just more disguised. The only difference now is this election may be able to seal the deal with the Republican support and her influence). I think we all agree that Higher education itself opens our world view up to thoughts, people, and experiences outside our little bubble. It is what helped me "come out" and overcome a miserable, unhealthy way of living. It is what has helped us advance as a species. Now people who are not educated (though certainly hold things like good work ethics, certain values, and street or business smarts), with short attention spans, and who don't understand these complex systems of government and important social issues have risen in revolt and elected someone who spoke to them on their level. Long as they got rid of Hillary, it was almost like they would take the devil himself.
It is too soon to say Trump is the devil. We truly don't know what he will do but it certainly feels that way. We have to face something though. Before this election happened, for years, we have been complaining about corruption in the government and many said a man off the street could do better than the one's in office now. Remember hearing that? Heck, I remember thinking it myself. I think it is a bit unfair exaggeration that our government is that bad, but I understand it but we got to be crying babies about everything and not paying attention to local elections and gerrymandering that sealed the deal on Republican dominance. We have ALWAYS been complaining and whining for more and better but this time around we became the case of the boy crying wolf and the real wolves took advantaged, joined the choir and took over. Maybe we should have done an Arab Spring kind of thing about corporate rule on government but one thing is for sure, our cries for sane government were trumped by a wolf in sheep's clothing. Now, we do have that man off the street but it's Wall Street and the host of Celebrity Apprentice. A man who bashes Hollywood but has been a part of it for years, who bashes the elite but was born elite and has already cut things like regulating waters in favor of corporate influences. Yet, remember Flint Michigan. I do because I live here. An entire city poisoned by lead, run by a Republican Governor a lot like Trump in his business trumps all approach.
This is a Nero or perhaps Caligula kind of moment in Roman Empire terms for America. It is very sobering. If this man had his dithers, as Trump himself said, he would "bomb the hell" out his rivals and completely decimate them. I mean, after all, who cares about millions and millions of people if they are Muslim? Yet, bombing campaigns didn't prove to work so well in Iraq or Syria. Instead, it created a whole host of other problems. But, who hasn't heard that co-worker or that age old relative say about a foreign power "oh, just nuke 'em!"? As if that would solve everything, not thinking ahead to ripple effects. Now that age-old relative is our president. Oy Vey!
All the bad news aside, I think our real hope is this and it goes back to where our fall began. I remember when 9/11 happened and we had the most unified spirit in this country no matter your nationality (save the Muslims who have a perpetual target on them now, sadly). Ironically, Trump was voted in 11/9, the exact reverse of the very same numbers. The dates for a double tragedy in this country that should lift the hairs on the back of the necks of those who study prophecy. Yet, in darkness and trouble, that is when the light can shine the brightest. We were never stronger as a people since WWII and Pearl Harbor than when 9/11 happened. We have to come together again and I believe we will if Trump starts a tycoon way of running this country. For, even though Trump won technically, he didn't win the spirit of this country because the popular vote is against this kind of rule. I'm asking that government leaders do not quit their positions in all agencies. That would be the easy route but the worst. Instead, we NEED them to fight back when it is needed to do so. We might find some things he does that we like. For example, I do agree with Trump on getting rid of NAFTA. It has been terrible for this country. He may have some new approaches and thinking outside the box that could benefit us that we didn't count on. Who knows? That's my optimism speaking hope eternal. Still, we as a people can stand and fight back as well on all things that would set us backward socially or as a nation. We cannot be a bunch of whining, whoah-is-me talking heads. We CANNOT be bystanders to this like it is just a terrible traffic accident as if we were just driving by because, in this instance, we are ALL IN this accident. History will ask us what our role was. I think we can rise and come together again, and I believe we will. We've come too far to go back. And who knows? Maybe more good will come out of this darkness than we imagine--we sure got more out of the day of Jesus' Death. We even dare to call it "Good Friday". And think of your own struggles too. They made who you are today, right? We have a new, struggle ahead so keep yourself encouraged, keep your eyes on the prize and stick together for the long haul. Let's be unified like never before!