Talking with The Burn It Down Crowd

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I had quite the conversation on Facebook yesterday with a disgruntled Bernie supporter. I had posted a meme about passing the baton from Obama to Clinton and from Hitler to Trump. Their response was another meme about election fraud. As shown below. My response was to keep the topic focused on the difference between Trump and Clinton.

election fraud

I wrote back: “What you don’t see behind Trump is his fascist tendency and lack of understanding of deeper issues.”

Their response:  By nominating Clinton, we as a country may just deserve Trump. That’s not to say that I would vote for either one.

I could only respond with: “I don’t understand your logic, no country deserves Trump. Germany didn’t deserve Hitler, Russia didn’t deserve Stalin and we certainly don’t deserve Trump. I really don’t understand the deep animosity to Clinton and there is no comparing her to Trump’s idiocy.”

The individual went on further to explain their thinking and the true crux of their argument:

 

“She is more dangerous than trump for starters. But by trying to force voters to choose from two deplorable tyrants. Perhaps we should go with the one that will burn this system down to the ground faster so that we may start anew. A Clinton presidency would be no better than a Trump presidency but with the current status quo it would take a lot longer for people to wake up, realize that they are being fucked in the ass by their government and finally do something about it rather then continuing to perpetuate the same lesser of two evils divide and conquer strategy that that those in power have been playing on us for decades. It’s already obvious that nothing good is going to come of this election process as it is.”

this deep-seated anger and resentment is not going to be washed away by Democrats playing nice, nice at the convention and pretending we don’t have a deep divide in this country right now

I responded:

Interesting, I hadn’t thought the system was that bad and wasn’t aware we were under a tyranny. While I agree this country has problems I support working in the system to change it like U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. I don’t believe we’ve reached the point where it is necessary to abolish the current system “by burning it down” as you said.

But this whole conversation made me deeply uneasy about where we are and where we are going as a country. If this is the sentiment of a lot of people, left and right of the spectrum, we as a nation have a lot of healing to do. As David Brooks wrote in the New York Times yesterday, of the working class , “the honor code has also been decimated by the culture of the modern meritocracy, which awards status to the individual who works with his mind, and devalues the class of people who work with their hands.” There is something of a class war going on right now between Trump supporters, Hillary supporters and those who want to start all over again.

David Brooks adds,

“Their pain is indivisible: economic stress, community breakdown, ethnic bigotry and a loss of social status and self-worth. When people feel their world is vanishing, they are easy prey for fact-free magical thinking and demagogues who blame immigrants.”

So what are we to do as a society? Can we really “burn it all down” and start over again or can we change it from within? This is not a new conundrum, such revolutionary sentiments have occurred several times in our history, thankfully we have been able to preserve the union, but both the democratic and republican parties need to find a way to include rather than exclude these angry, disillusioned citizens.

save our nation

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