Waking up into a Nightmare

On with life, under the scary prospect of an unscrupulous and dick driven sociopath ruling the USA.

How to stem the rising tide of populism? — is now the concern of all of us who worry about the global repercussions. All of us who don’t include ourselves among those targeted by “populism” — which is, etymologically, “the people”. An uncomfortable singular that separates an ill-defined group from a plural (people) that includes me, you, and everybody else.

In Dutch there is the old-fashioned gepeupel. Denigrating like the Latin synonyms of populus: vulgus, plebs. Words that are obviously politically incorrect. Though it is hard to find a better coverall for everything DT says and does than “vulgar”.

It automatically stamps us (his adversaries) as “elite”. A vast elite, not defined by wealth and only weakly by higher education. Most worrying about DT’s rise to power is that it has made all basic virtues elitist: love and respect for truth, for science, for rational thought and logic, for nature, cultural diversity, you name it. By consequence, all the dirty behaviour of which he is so proud (“being smart”) has become a kind of anti-virtue, rather than simply vice.

Eager to trade one political class of “liars” for another, whose lies are much dirtier, “the people” are in for a disappointment. It’s hard to package that message nicely — the message that voting for this Führer or another is stupid. But maybe this is not the time to package the message nicely. Maybe we should just call it stupid, and say it loud.

But equally important are good tunes. Listen to the inane repertoire programmed for HC’s campaign: I can’t imagine it has done her much good.

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