The challenge of understanding contemporary politics is daunting. That Donald Trump is our so-called president is a mystery. I would venture that well over half of Americans are unable to understand how he became president. I still include myself with that half. Blaming the Electoral College system is complicated by nuances that are at once intimidating, formidable, unnerving; that is, daunting when you pause to think about it.
Voting age white adults in 2016 were probably pivotal votes in the election of Trump.. Clinton got 37% of the white vote. There is a difference between the total population of voting-age white adults and the number of voting-age white adults that voted. What percent of the white-voting age population did that represent? None of those questions include differences in the voting of male and female adults who voted. Understanding what happened in 2016 calls for the making of many questions; probably too many to be of interest to many people who make a difference by voting.
When Trump uses the phrase “voter fraud” does he mean actual ballot manipulation or does he mean that voters did not vote their true consciousness as may happen when young voters vote as their parents voted (or professed to vote) rather than vote based on their true and personal feelings about one or more issues? Even reading through such a long question can be daunting.
What is the perception of people at large about the phrase “fake news?” How many people are actually tuned into the nuance of how news is presented? For instance, how many people read beyond the headline and the lead paragraph? Are viewers of broadcast new media stories aware of the influence of background visuals and music that accompany narrated words and the nuance of intonation by the narrator? Whew!
It seems feasible to conclude that we are no longer in a universe but in a twitterverse; the universe is way too complicated.. It seems that just a few characters are needed to seem sufficient or even satisfy like a clean sleeve across the mouth after a satisfying meal. A pithy observation can seem like a general truth. These aphorisms seem now to dominate thinking. Headlines and “dog whistle” phrases like “dog whistle” are replacing any semblance of thought. We just don’t seem to have enough time to track down details and continue to keep track of what those details mean.
The result is an increasing tendency to let our thinking be guided by the likes of Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity; two diametrically different but attractively articulate and entertaining interpreters of contemporary politics. The origins and penetrating persistence of those differences are daunting.
Dealing with daunting is demanding. A broad dialogue is needed in a form that leads away from a prevailing condition to a different condition. That is education. As long as we are content with aphorisms we are dealing with entertainment.
Bruce Lindgren, 5 January 2018.