I’m sorry Robin, but I see no evidence that any Global Consciousness upliftment is beginning. I know a lot of people talk about such a thing, and there are self-proclaimed leaders with website podiums, but I must say I see it all as wishful thinking. It’s like we know in our guts the Titanic is sinking, and so we desperately swim toward anything that remotely resembles a lifeboat, even if its only a mirage. If you know of some evidence for an upliftment, please let me know.
Not everyone is desperate for change. Those who are reasonably well off, such as the employed middle class, are more desperate to maintain stability than they are eager for change. They are much more worried about defeating Trump than they are excited about electing anyone. For many the real preference might be Bernie, but in the end they’ll vote for whoever they believe can defeat Trump.
Why liberals hate Trump is an interesting question. If you actually listen to his speeches, you find his primary agenda is about re-industrializing America – making it economically viable again. He wants to reverse globalization, which is ironically the same thing many of his haters want. In foreign policy he makes a great deal of sense, as regards for example finding a way to work with Russia, rather than always working at cross purposes. If he stuck to these points, his program would make a great deal of sense to all of us.
But he doesn’t. He expresses racist sentiments, and he calls for a bigger military. Both are peripheral to his main agendas, and the two are guaranteed to alienate liberals and minorities. He’s left only with those conservatives who can go along with the whole package. All of this doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of political strategy, if the fellow really wants to win. It’s not that he can’t afford professional campaign advisors.
Why conservatives like Trump is rather obvious. He’s talking about going back to better times, and he flagrantly violates political correctness. If you’re a conservative, what’s not to love? And why conservatives hate liberal reformers is also rather obvious. They are aware of the dark side that has accompanied all liberal reforms, and how they always lead to greater state power.
But whether one supports Trump, Bernie, Hillary, or whoever, it’s just another case of swimming toward a mirage lifeboat. Campaigns are theater. Their purpose is to divide, to supplant real issues by fear of the ‘other’, and to generate a sense of participation, a sense that democracy is real and elections matter. It’s not and they don't. If you consider the continuity of policy, from Bush to Obama – despite the radical difference in their stated values, positions, and constituencies – this should be obvious. For those of us older, we might recall that Johnson ran on a peace platform, and then implemented the policies of the one we feared, Barry Goldwater. Tip your hat to the new boss, same as the old boss.
Many years ago, when I was young and naive, and Reagan won the Presidency, I couldn’t see how being an actor was relevant to the job of President. As time went by and I learned more, I realized that a good actor, or preacher, or salesman, are all likely prospects to make good Presidents. For in truth the job description is Public Relations Officer for USA Inc. It’s not about making policy; it’s about selling policy.
Optimism, pessimism, what do they really mean? I suppose an optimist is someone who believes the outcome will be better than the evidence suggests, while a pessimist believes the outcome will be worse. Or perhaps an optimist is someone who has a positive attitude toward life generally, and a pessimist is the opposite. We can be talking either about intuitive situational awareness, or psychological predilection. We might also be talking about denial.
For myself, I prefer to know what’s real, wherever that leads. Since the future is unknown, I entertain both optimistic and pessimistic perspectives, to get a range on the possibilities. But I’m neither and optimist nor a pessimist. I’m just happy to be alive, to have a roof over my head, and to be able to do whatever I want.