We’re Not Dead Yet

What was the guy thinking when he first decided that sticking a lobster into his mouth was a good idea? But after someone figured out it would be better cooked and dipped in melted butter with a dash of lemon, it proved delicious. No one said to themselves at the dawn of the Dark Ages, this is a really bad idea, but they figured it out and gave us the Enlightenment.

Herbert Hoover was a much better choice of president than Warren G. Harding, but the Great Depression still wasn’t much fun. Yet, we endure. The United States endures.

To many, we’re in political valley with no peak in sight. To others, we were there before and are now climbing the mountain. Time will tell who is right, whether we like the answer or not. No amount of hysteria or outrage, anger or hatred, is going to prove what the future holds. To the extent any guidance can be found, it’s in our history rather than fears of the coming Apocalypse. And what our history shows is that America’s dedication to freedom has enabled us to overcome the transient cultural shifts that seemed so critical at the moment but whimsical in retrospect. Nixon sucked, but do you wear bell bottoms and love beads?

Stop mourning over the corpse of a great nation. We’re not dead yet.

18 thoughts on “We’re Not Dead Yet

    1. SHG Post author

      The only way we lose is to give up the fight to make the most of our nation and just whine about how sad it is to be us. And for all those crying about the horrors of Darth Cheeto, they might spend a little more time wondering what we’re going to do with robots and AI when there are no jobs left and they can enjoy their white male privilege in the comfort of their own cardboard box.

      1. Casual Lurker

        I’m at the point in life where I tend to be philosophical about most things. However, I do worry about what kind of world we will leave for the grandkids. Overall, Darth Cheeto will likely be a mere blip on the curve of historical trends.

        Make no mistake; he’ll do damage that will take a decade or longer to get back to baseline, but won’t be the end of the nation as we know it. Unfortunately, many aspects of our society have been in decline for some time. Time spent repairing Darth Cheeto’s damage allows us to slip further down a rabbit hole.

        On the plus side, blips have a way of averaging out over time. But enough blips, in close proximity, may be sufficient to permanently vector certain trends. (Whether you consider those trends positive or negative depends on your point of view).

        So Darth Cheeto matters, inasmuch as he manages to alter perceptions — making counter-factual narratives and Fight Club political discourse the norm — plus adding further delay to fixing real problems that allow us to slip further behind the remainder of the developed world.

        “…spend a little more time wondering what we’re going to do with robots and AI when there are no jobs left and they can enjoy their white male privilege in the comfort of their own cardboard box”.


        “A Plan in Case Robots Take the Jobs: Give Everyone a Paycheck”
        (New York Times, March 2, 2016, https://nyti.ms/1OP6APE)*

        Yeah, that oughta work… [snicker]

        With somewhat less gusto than in the past, a happy Forth of July to all!

        *Again, I’m aware of the rules. It was provided solely for your convenience. Delete away. {Ed. Note: just so we’re clear, I read the NYT. And if I choose to “delete away” here, I don’t need permission.]

        P.S. I once heard someone refer to Harvey “I’m a lawyer” Levin, of TMZ notoriety, as “Darth Cheeto”. Is that some new Interwebz meme or something?

        1. SHG Post author

          Much as I prefer not to leap into your water as it swirls down the bowl, you state your feelz as the obvious:

          Make no mistake; he’ll do damage that will take a decade or longer to get back to baseline.

          Perhaps he’ll do exactly the opposite, as we would do very well not to get “back to baseline,” which is what gave us Trump. Maybe Trump will prove critical in our never returning to the “baseline,” while we simultaneously realize that idiocracy isn’t the path either. But then, given that the Democrats’ only message is “we’re not Trump,” maybe we will learn something but still have no options. Maybe you made a very significant mistake. Maybe more than one.

          1. Norahc

            “Perhaps he’ll do exactly the opposite, as we would do very well not to get “back to baseline,” which is what gave us Trump.”

            A lot of people would do well to spend a few moments thinking about those astute words.

          2. Casual Lurker

            “…given that the Democrats’ only message is ‘we’re not Trump’…”

            I’ve no illusions that the Democrats have anything but more of the same to offer. (Full disclosure: I personally lean towards the Jeffersonian/Libertarian quadrant of the Nolan chart).

            “…we would do very well not to get ‘back to baseline,’ which is what gave us Trump”.

            I also don’t believe Trump is the Anti-Christ. I prefer to think of him as an electoral palate cleanser, preparing us for the next beauty contest. In the mean time, all one can do is hope he does more good than harm. Unfortunately, at present, I don’t see him “draining the swamp”. Instead, I see him adding alligators. Longterm, the baseline is untenable and unsustainable. But, so far, Trump and his posse have no viable solutions. In which case, I’d rather tread water for four years than have to claw my way out of a deeper swamp filled with gators.

            In policy areas that concern me, I only see trouble ahead. (Net Neutrality, rolling back Dodd-Frank *without* re-implementing some form of Glass-Steagall, Etc.) I’d love to be pleasantly surprised. But all currently available indicators say otherwise.

            “Maybe you made a very significant mistake. Maybe more than one”.

            I’ve made many and I’m sure I’ll make more. But over the years, I’ve gotten pretty good at predicting outcomes, given enough data-points. It’s wholly possible Trump represents an entirely new paradigm (where not enough data-points yet exist, for any type of predictive model to be useful), but I’m not prepared to concede that just yet.

            “{Ed. Note: just so we’re clear, I read the NYT. And if I choose to ‘delete away’ here, I don’t need permission.]”

            Understood. (Your house — Your rules). Sorry if I left the wrong impression. My “Delete away” comment was mere acceptance of what I perceived as inevitable. The only reason for any comment on links whatsoever was you let the previous one through, and I didn’t want you to think I was being presumptuous and/or just adding them in to annoy you.

  1. B. McLeod

    For elephant or ass (or goat),
    The voters had a chance to vote,
    For cackler wrinkled past repair,
    Or blusterer most yuge of hair,
    One who might plunder by the ton,
    The other seeing nothing done,
    No common view from bear nor bull,
    As to the lever best to pull,
    And so we pulled, the die was cast,
    Now under Trump six months have passed,
    As we prepare the 4th to cheer,
    The nation is, at least, still here,
    Mayhap we’ll many the merry laugh,
    O’er the next three years (and a half),
    In hopes our nation can remain,
    Until the voters choose again.

  2. KP

    Who’s Trump? Isn’t he just some entertainer?

    Its obvious America is like Britain in the 1950s, still a great world power but the best is behind you. Trump is not the problem, your banking system is. You peaked when you gave up the gold standard and its just been a long war fighting fires in every oil-producing country trying to leave the $US ever since.

    All empires die, and America will be another Spain or Portugal within a couple of decades. So give up on worrying about who is the clown in the White House and worry about how to be a good country when you have to work for a living instead of free-loading on the rest of the world with the $US as a world currency.

    Freedom?? You must be joking! Compared to a hundred years ago there is hardly any freedom left. Once you can get picked up off the street and ‘disappeared’ there is no freedom.

    Maybe not dead Boss, but you’re well past middle age. Maybe it just doesn’t show from inside.

    1. Billy Bob

      Well said. Wish I could have written that, and I’m an Amerikan, born and raised. This country sucks, irregardless of the boosters and pseudo-patriots. The End is Nearer than most of us think. The glass is not half-full; it’s half empty and getting emptier by the day.

    2. B. McLeod

      Fortunately, our country has a constitution and organic philosophy which was never designed for “empire” in the first place. So, when we eventually become the next Britain, Spain, Norway, Rome, Macedonia or Persia, it should simply be a matter of resetting back to original principles.

      On the “freedom” point, I have to say that it does trouble me how our courts, despite all their recent activism, have continued to turn a blind eye to “extraordinary rendition.”

      1. SHG Post author

        Freedom always has, and will, be a struggle. It’s harder to herd feral cats than compliant lemmings.

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