In a post-Trump world, absolutely everything is now political

The Donald J. Trump presidency did indeed send ripples across the American societal and political pond. Actually, more than mere ripples.  They were big, disruptive waves.

One big effect of the Trump presidency, something that shook up the American landscape in a way that nothing else ever has, was particularly bad.  Because of the media's and his opponents' hyperbolic reaction to Donald Trump and his rough-edged personality, everything is now political.  Everything identifies you as being either in this camp or that camp.  Depending on how you feel about seemingly non-partisan issues, you're either an enlightened Progressive or a homegrown American terrorist, a white supremacist.  There is no in-between.

Some examples:

COVID

If you believe that it came from China, you're a conservative Trump supporter.  If you believe that wearing masks and getting vaccinated are your moral responsibility, you're a Progressive.  Hydroxychloroquine is a quack treatment, foisted by the astonishingly ignorant President Trump, and anyone who backs this treatment is a cretinous barbarian.  Everything about one's reaction to and opinion of COVID-19 marks you one way or the other.  National policy, news coverage, everything about the COVID issue is politically infused and supercharged.

Meat

There is a huge cultural push from Progressives to characterize eating meat as a thoughtless, ignorant, immoral act.  Now that Progressives claim to know that methane emissions from cattle farming are a major contributing factor to so-called "climate change," the consumption of meat has all of a sudden become a litmus test for one's regard for the environment and, by extension, one's political leanings.  Enlightened, caring Progressives tout the climate benefits and health value of Beyond Meat and other plant-based meat substitutes.  Trump-supporting troglodytes continue to throw their Omaha Steaks t-bones on the fire and eat like it's 1970.  Politics: It's What's for Dinner.

Fossil Fuels

Gasoline, natural gas, diesel, and coal are now the energy equivalents of meat.  Civilized, informed people — you know, Progressives — have moved beyond energy sources that we get from decaying dinosaurs in the ground.  The truly sophisticated among us recognize that renewables, solar, and wind are the way to go.  That lithium mining and the disposal of old lithium batteries are arguably far worse for the environment than modern oil field extraction and pipeline oil delivery is irrelevant.  What counts to the Progressive is the appearance of the issue, not the actual facts.  Drive a gas-guzzling SUV?  Trump-supporter.  Tool silently down the pike in an E.V.?  You're the quintessential Progressive Renaissance Man (errr..."Renaissance Person").

There are so many other areas where the Trump versus Progressive line of demarcation holds true:

  • American History: Are we a noble nation of patriots and heroes or a nation founded on slavery and racism?
  • Election Integrity: Question the voting methods and tabulation processes of any election, and you're anti-American, according to the left.
  • Critical Race Theory, 1619 Project, and White Privilege: Are the Caucasian people who live here inherently evil oppressors who need to pay for their past transgressions, even if they didn't commit their sins knowingly or intentionally?
  • The belief in a merit-based, color/sex-blind workplace, and educational system, where the goal is to afford everyone an equal opportunity: Progressives argue exactly the opposite, where color, sex, and personal background must determine the final educational/professional outcome for a person who is deemed to be an approved minority.

A Progressive recently said, he would always wear a mask so no one thinks he's a Trump supporter.  Really?  Can't we agree on anything?  Is everything a partisan issue?  Is everything these days either pro-Trump or anti-Trump?

The political and societal landscape is determined strictly along Trump lines these days.  That's proof of the astonishing degree of influence he had as president.  That he was almost always 100% right about everything — the economy, China and trade, COVID, exploring for and producing oil, Operation Warp Speed, fake news, the Mueller witch hunt, illegal immigration, everything — drove his opponents totally crazy.  That he unceremoniously (and truth be told, often inelegantly) rubbed their noses in it certainly didn't help his image and acceptance with the Progressive sect.

But the fact remains that President Trump's harshly worded yet indisputable correctness about virtually every important issue has created a chasm in American cultural and political thought that is not about to go away.

[UPDATE: The statement from the permanent mask wearer was updated for greater accuracy.]

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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