I’m not usually a person who revels in Schadenfreude, but I have to say that a primal scream from Katha Pollitt against Trump-land is incredibly gratifying.
Katha Pollitt didn’t set out to write a feel-good article. In fact, she feels terrible — but it’s the reasons behind her feelings that are such good news to those of us who have, for the past many years, missed a coherent, constitutional America, with strong borders, that is also a good friend to its allies and a bad enemy to its foes.
If you’ll pardon me a few ball-spiking moments, here’s a quick rundown of the pertinent points in Katha Pollitt’s “Year One: My Anger Management” article at the New York Review of Books. I’ve interlineated my comments with her prose. I’ve also broken her lengthy paragraphs into individual sentences to make it easier to separate my comments from her complaints:
The other day, a friend of mine, a liberal Democrat, said that he had to admit his life hadn’t changed since Trump was elected. Well, I said, It’s only been eight months. Give him time!
What I wanted to say was, How nice for you. Tell it to that undocumented teenage girl who was blocked for a month from getting an abortion while held in a Texas detention center. [In other words, Pollitt is terribly upset that the Trump administration tried to stop a girl from entering the country illegally and from using taxpayer dollars to kill a child.]
Tell it to the Muslim family that a Connecticut neighbor of mine saw a white guy shouting at in the Big Y supermarket parking lot: Go back to your own country! [This is a man bites dog story. The reality is that the most trumpeted examples of anti-Muslim activity have proven to be hoaxes because real instances just don’t happen very often (or at all). This is true no matter how much the media warns us of anti-Muslim backlash every time there’s yet another “Allahu Akbar” attack.]
Tell it to my daughter-in-law who got the hairy eyeball from a passerby for speaking Spanish on the street to her little girl. (And this was in Bloomington, Indiana, a large and pleasant university town.) [Man bites dog. Also, the “hairy eyeball” is a pretty darn subjective standard if you ask me. The daughter-in-law might have been wearing a particularly ugly dress or have an unattractive distinguishing feature other than her language. People looking to be insulted will find insults everywhere.]
Tell it to Myesha Johnson, widow of one of the soldiers killed in Niger, who was dragged through the mud because Trump couldn’t make a sympathy call sound sympathetic. [Definitely a he-said/she-said thing here. To those of us who believe General Kelly, who is not known for lying, Trump tried hard to say the right thing about someone who dedicated his life to military service and died in that service. To those others who believe Rep. Wilson, a firebrand with a penchant for self-aggrandizement, Trump was tactless — but at least he made the effort. Also (just saying), it was Obama’s fault that Sgt. Johnson was in Niger in the first place.]
Tell it to the Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders still waiting for power and clean water more than a month after Hurricane Maria. [Yes, indeed. Do please tell it to citizens who have been the victims of Detroit-style Democrat governance for decades. Trump got FEMA to these islands with remarkable speed, only for FEMA to discover that, with no infrastructure and lots of corruption, it was hard to make headway against the disaster.]
Having vented her spleen at imaginary monsters, Pollitt goes on to detail how miserable she is. It turns out that, if you’re a hardcore Progressive, living in Trump’s America is too, too awful.
All that Pollitt can do is read Roman history, because those books are filled with “fantastically rich sociopaths obsessed with crushing their enemies.” That insult is a bit rich, coming as it does from a woman who worshiped a man who boasting about bringing a gun to his political fight with Republicans. In any event, I’m glad to see Trump “crushing” his enemies, because they are the enemies of all of love a nation with maximum individual freedom, a strong economy, and strong national security.
Pollitt’s misery exacerbates the hatred she feels for her fellow Americans. If you have traditional American values, if you believe America is the last, best hope for individual liberty and the blessings that come with a free market economy, let me tell you, Pollitt hates you! She really, really hates you:
But the main difference is that I hate people now. Well, not all people, of course. Just people who voted for Trump. People who do their own “research” on the Internet and discover there that President Obama is a Muslim and Michelle Obama is a man. [How dare the dirty masses double-check the media! After all, when the media lies or omits things, it’s doing it for Americans’ own good, damn it!]
People who use the n-word and can’t even spell it right, because—have you noticed?—Trump supporters can’t spell. [You know how you can tell when someone on the Left has lost an argument? When they call you racist and then add, for good measure, that you spell badly. That’s the moment you know you’ve won. That’s the verbal equivalent of the loser yelling at the victor’s back “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.”]
Well-off people who only care about lowering their taxes. [Unspoken is the fact that the poor in American don’t need to agitate for lower taxes because they don’t pay any taxes. Indeed, if they’re lucky (and even if they’re illegally here), the government gives them credits on the taxes they don’t pay. It’s a very bad thing when (a) people don’t have a stake in their government and (b) the people who don’t pay taxes get to vote to raise them on those who do.]
People who said they couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her emails. Excuse me, sir or madam, can you explain to me what an email server even is? [I can explain. Perhaps it’s Pollitt and her ilk who don’t understand that Americans are upset because Hillary, who held one of the highest positions in the land, and through whose office all sorts of facts regarding national security flowed, elected to run all of her email through a server with less security than the average AOL account so that she could hide from the government and the people the fact that she was using the Secretary of State’s office as a pay for play gig. That gig was so good that she and her husband made millions by authorizing American to sell 20% of its uranium to a Russian government consortium. Russia, incidentally, is the same country that Pollitt and her fellow Lefties, after worshiping at its altar since 1917, are suddenly contending is the most dangerous government in the world.]
People who didn’t believe Trump would bring back coal or build the wall or Make America Great Again, but just wanted to blow things up. [Given the corruption left in Obama’s and the Clintons’ wake, blowing things up isn’t a bad thing. In any event, Trump is making a difference: the whole economy is coming back, not just coal; just the thought of the wall, combined with ICE enforcement, is squelching illegal incursions into America; and things seem pretty darn great to me.]
Congratulations! We are all living in the minefield you have made.
And then there’s poor Pollitt, on the side of the angels:
I know what you’re thinking: you are the problem, Katha, alienating Trump voters with your snobbish liberal elitism and addiction to “identity politics.” [Yeah, it will come back to bite you in the ass when you’ve spent decades calling half of the nation stupid, racist, deplorable, greedy, etc. The problem is, once you start drawing lines between citizens, after you’ve exhausted sex, gender identity, race, etc., you’re going to have to draw other lines about racism, sexism, genderism, etc.]
Yes, I wanted them to have health care and child care and good schools and affordable college and real sex education and access to abortion and a much higher minimum wage. [The free market can provide all of those things. Prices for both medicine and education have been perverted by government interference in the free market. The best antidote to low wages is a free market. And frankly, not all of us think it’s a good idea to slaughter millions of babies.]
And yes, I wanted the wealthy to pay more taxes to provide for it all. [The “rich” already pay most of America’s taxes. Once the Leftists kill that particularly golden-egg-laying goose they’ll have nothing left to fund their government-mandated wish list.]
Obviously, this offended the pride of the stalwart, mostly white citizens of Trumplandia, possibly because a good proportion of white people would rather not have something if black people get to have it, too. [I’m a Trump supporter and like black people — or at least I like black people if they’re nice. Just as I like nice white people and nice Asian people and nice Hispanic people. I tend to base my ideas about people on their observed character, not their race. Having observed Pollitt’s character, I can say with certainty that I don’t like her.]
As for pussy-grabbing, sheesh! Men will be men, get over yourselves, ladies. [Hollywood! Hollywood! Hollywood! Not Trump!]
None of that is “identity politics,” though. It is just America.
You get the gist. Pollitt hates you. She hates Bernie and Jill Stein voters who ate away at Hillary’s support. She hates people who don’t appreciate Hillary. She hates herself for not giving more money or writing better articles.
Pollitt’s life is eaten by hate and grief and despair. Her head is permanently attired in a pink little hat. Given that I disagree with everything she stands for and everything she does, I can be amazingly sanguine about Pollitt’s overwhelming unhappiness. Her grief tells me that, under Trump, our country really is moving in a direction I like.
Photo credit: Katha Pollitt by David Shankbone. Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.