So Long, And Thanks For All the Pessimism

As I’m looking at what’s happening that’s noteworthy for voters, I’m increasingly pessimistic.

Here’s what we’re seeing:

  1. Politics as rancorous tribalism
    Growing up in Sacramento, I was a fan of the Oakland Raiders…from the Ken Stabler days through the Lester Hayes/stick’m days, and thereafter. When Bill Walsh took over the SF 49ers, a bandwagon followed. As a Raiders fan, I felt like I was in the minority, an outsider. I mean, my position as Raiders fan alienated other kids…their opinion changed, once they found I was a Raiders fan. And this was often among kids who didn’t watch or understand football, at all. I’m seeing the same thing in our country, with political-party alignment.
  2. Inflation
    Gas prices are going up. Milk prices are going up. And, Lord knows, real estate prices and rent are going up.
  3. Increased value placed on status symbols/badge value/luxury
    Increasingly, I’ve seen folks driving the bottom of the luxury brands, around here. I predict this is a Christmas of luxury brands.
  4. Related to #1, I see folks fomenting and profiting off of the division
    This is a fundraising e-mail sent by President Trump, this morning. I’ve neither edited it, nor cut anything out from the middle of it. It’s internally inconsistent, incoherent, and serves only to achieve this division for the purpose of profit:

Our Country is being poisoned with the millions of people that are illegally flowing through our Borders.

Many are criminals from the emptied prisons of other countries, most of these are very dangerous people.

Our Country is dying from within and nobody is doing anything to stop it.

-E-mail from Donald J. Trump, October 31, 2021

So, I’ve come to predict the following:

  • We’re about to have some times of great, exhibitionist, luxurious consumerism
  • The division between haves/have-nots is going to get even worse over the next couple of years
  • The have-nots will be given a parade of scapegoats to blame—immigrants, billionaires, races, religions, specific political operatives
    • One or two will eventually take hold
    • The downtrodden will not relinquish the belief in this scapegoat

And I’m not sure the US, as we know it, will continue to exist. And if that’s the case, the infection will spread to the rest of the world, whose economy depends on the US.

If that’s the case, what actions should any of us take? Tell me in the comments.

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