I post less on politics these days. Certainly not because I lack interest. Not because I’ve moved on from a state with fairly deep political sensibilities. Really, it’s more because I believe more in local politics. And since few of my readers are from my neighborhood, things that engage me might not mean much to them. So I write little about it.
When I first heard the “not Trump” meme, I was thinking No Trump from my favorite card game. I actually enjoyed the particular difficulties of playing hands without a trump suit–they have a challenge and a certain danger to them. There is great satisfaction in playing a long game: losing an extra trick early so that I can squeeze out something extra in the end. Reading the blogger’s advice at the hyperlink, I noticed this:
You must give something away first in order to achieve success later. Don’t immediately play all your high cards! It’s like an investment. Give up some of your losers at the beginning in order to “promote” your underlings in that suit. Then you can take control and reap the benefits afterward.
When I read about the various protests at a certain presidential candidate’s events, I wonder what it’s all about and why. If I were a Republican, and I felt strongly about the long-term viability of my party, maybe I would protest and speak out and blockade and stuff.
For the Not-Trump protesters who are non-party and not publicity plants of some sort, I have to ask: why bother? Are you a Republican? If not, why interfere in a game in which you have no skin? The man in question is not yet a final candidate for office. What is it to non-Republicans that he earns some measure of success among his supporters? I’d rather focus on the candidates (local and otherwise) that I prefer.
If some criticize Donald Trump as a celebrity, who is to blame for that status? Many Americans seem to want the easy path: fame, recognition, fawning adulation handed on a platter of good luck. Mr Trump is not the first presidential political contender to have enjoyed a first career as a celebrity media star. Unless more people get involved at the local level and work their way up, he might not be the last. Cue this: think about getting started.
This might be one of the few times I feel impatient with protesters. To be sure, they have the right to protest. And if Mr Trump gains a likely nomination, it may shift to a responsibility to protest. But otherwise, I see this as another aspect of the Hermeneutic of Subtraction. Trying to make things better by excising things we dislike is no effective investment. If nature abhors a vacuum, then other similar stuff will just fill the empty space.
If people are angry and upset about disenfranchisement, the economy, corruption, immigration, jobs, or what-not, then why not augment protesting with things useful, constructive and positive? Get informed about local issues. Go to town meetings and forums and get involved on a committee. Join a union. Get involved at school or at work.
To me, it seems that effective involvement is like playing no trump at bridge. Sacrifices must be made in the beginning to ensure success later. There is also the matter of compromise and cooperation with the partner’s cards. Working with others, playing a long game: that seems appropriate for a healthy American way of life. Why don’t more see it that way today?