Why does half of America vote for such horrible things?
My wife and I passed some people relaxing on their porch here in California. I wondered how long their "NO RECALL" sign would grace their railing. They are happy, I assume, that Gavin Newsom is still in office.
But why are they happy? What is so truly scary to those Newsom-supporters that they can't imagine him not being in office? Is it that without Newsom, the homeless population might go down? Is it that the tax burden might get reduced? Is it that too many hardcore felons will remain in prison? Is it that California forests haven't yet been completely consumed? Maybe health care needs to be dismantled and defunded, just like the L.A. police, and then rebuilt from the ground up. Do they like Newsom because he sees illegal immigration as the best way to accomplish that by overwhelming the state's health care resources? (My wife and I spent nine hours in the emergency room the other night, and we were disappointed that it didn't take longer.) Or maybe it's just that water shortages need to be more severe? Whatever the reason, Gavin Newsom needed a second chance to make California worse.
Let's leave ballot cheating accusations out of it. There are too many people who actually voted not to recall Gavin Newsom. I know California is its own call of the wild, but nationally, too many people also lined up to cast votes for Biden, Pal Joey, that guy from down under, that basement down in Pennsylvania. What is it about Democrats that they love what their politicians utter but couldn't care less what they do? It's as Jeremiah said: "Every [m]an's words shall be [h]is own burden," 23:36. What burden? Democrats seem not to notice any connection whatsoever between the increasing discomforts of living in America and the policies of their chosen leaders. I know that Biden's approval rating is way down, but even after that "righteous hit" of General Milley's blew up the truck loaded with terrorist water containers and seven children, Biden still has supporters.
Beto O'Rourke recently announced that he is running for governor of Texas, which is my home state. Whatever Democrats think needs changing in the Lone Star State, there are people who will watch Beto's Bernie Castro Warren Sanders finger-wagging and mail in their ballot for "change you can count twice on." (Sorry, I was going to leave the ballot cheating thing aside.) But seriously, Beto O'Rourke?
Again, what's so scary is that any of the previous should get any support whatsoever? When national affairs become as incoherent as they are, how can one support personified incoherency? Heartfelt incoherency is the difference, though. We have had so many decades of pop psychology and Oprahfied TV cry-fests that we don't have a coherent clue what our neighbor might need, but at least we are heartfelt.
My sense is that Democrats, by and large, have a tenuous connection to things transcendent. Transcendence gives coherence to existence. Democrats may rightly care and worry about their neighbor, in general, but they have little faith in them in the particular and have similar doubts about themselves. Sadly, in this day and age, things transcendent are shunned and probably already blacklisted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As transcendence becomes less and less of a touchstone, incoherence will occupy its place. What with COVID Derangement Syndrome, science has shown itself not up to the task. "In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25). My fear is that America may soon want an actual king to fill civilization's incoherent void.
Spruce Fontaine is an artist and retired college art instructor.
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