Monday, October 24, 2016

The American Hellscape

I'm not one who dismisses "economic anxieties" as part of the root of Trumpism. Things usually aren't monocausal. Comfortable people usually have better things to do than fetishize their racism. People whose kids are doing well are a bit less likely to fret about how things aren't quite as wonderful as they were when America Was Great. You don't have to be poor to be living paycheck to paycheck. You don't have to be poor to be justifiably frightened about your retirement prospects. One step away from losing your house is one step away from losing your house even if that house is a McMansion and plan B isn't homelessness. Your kids don't have to be victims of opioid addiction to wonder just what the hell is up with The Kids Today when their economic prospects look bleak, and even with an improving economy are unlikely to ever recover from The Great Recession. Even if you have Medicare, your kids might not be able to afford health insurance. The Medicaid expansion is great, changes in how insurance companies are regulated are great, but the "exchanges" are still shit. I read an argument recently which was something like "yah, well, not that many people are actually on the exchanges so don't judge Obamacare by them." So, uh, ok, why bother inflicting this shit on people? A giant expensive rube goldberg machine for a slightly better CBO score. How things are always done.

That doesn't justify the racism and xenophobia. Immigrants and blah people aren't to blame for these things. But it can bring it unjustifiably to the foreground. Add in the usual phenomenon of people getting older and watching the world they knew disappear around them, and the insane messaging they hear regularly...