Donald Trump: America’s Participation Trophy
Today the electors vote, presumably, but disappointingly for Donald Trump. And just over a month Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. And one of the running things I have heard and read from conservative pundits and Long Island comedians is that one of the driving forces behind Trump’s election (ahead of bigotry and stupidity, of course) is the safe spaces of liberals. The idea that liberals are too easily offended and politically correct and require too much sensitivity. This is considered the progression from a participation trophy culture – if we give every 8 year old a trophy for their 5th place soccer team, then eventually those children will require safe spaces on their college campuses and rescind invitations from speakers with whom they don’t agree. The election of Trump (in addition to being a potential disaster for women, people of color and immigrants) was really a comeuppance for those faggy liberals and their weakening of what makes America strong. And yet, the group that abhors participation trophies (or at least wants to blame said trophies, metaphorical and literal, for America’s problems) has just elected the biggest participation trophy in American history.
Adam Carolla, the podcaster/entertainer, often says we need to work “big to small” when lambasting priorities of the left. Now I am a big fan of Carolla as a comedian and a person, but I disagree with a lot of his politics, especially because he, like many conservatives, often apply lessons and principles against their enemies with rigid discipline, but not to their own side. Carolla’s show has featured some alt-righters like Milo Yogurtanapopolis (hey if I am too respectful to his foreign sounding name wouldn’t that make me a pussy liberal?), and one of their things about speech (as well as race, etc.) is that the left is playing games with identity and speech, while the conservatives are simply about solutions and not catering to useless things like feelings and identity. As if conservatives treat life like math, while liberals treat it like poetry. Shitty poetry. In fact Carolla has called the Democrats the party of feelings (to be fair he sort of characterizes most people today as to concerned with the self and their feelings, not just liberals all the time). It plays well and makes sense with the narrative that liberals are too sensitive and are into participation trophies. And yet, I feel like people like Carolla have missed the forest for the trees. No president, in my lifetime at least, has played and prayed upon a victim mentality and identity politics more than President-Elect Donald Trump.
“The economy is a disaster” – unemployment cut from almost 10% to under 5%
“Our military is a disaster” – the strongest in the world by a wide margin
“I will bring back coal” – not happening
These are a few examples of Donald Trump’s comments to appeal to men and women who, admittedly, may have fallen behind in an increasingly global, technologically advanced, eco-conscious world and I do sympathize. But wouldn’t the conservative approach be “don’t blame someone – get new training, more education, etc.” (even if unrealistic)? After all, Hillary Clinton said she wanted to replace coal jobs with new training and jobs in those communities for a clean energy 21st Century. Wouldn’t that be the conservative approach? Not handouts and identity politics, but education and employment? But instead, leaving aside the repudiation of President Obama’s legacy and skin color for now, the Trump voters opted for someone who demonized immigrants and promised jobs that cannot come back. Hillary Clinton promised help with pulling up their bootstraps, Trump blamed the boot maker and promised everyone a new pair of their favorite boots that the manufacturer stopped making.
So just as conservatives have hijacked patriotism, faith and other ideals that plenty on the left share as well, at least let them take ownership of being the participation trophy party as well. Trump voters have elected a man who has promised impossibilities and appointed a cabinet that will not only not “win” for their interests, but actually make you even bigger losers in the end. So while libtard parents are giving their 8 year olds participation trophies for soccer, Trump voters have elected a participation trophy as president. And like Adam Carolla says, shouldn’t we be worrying big to small instead of the other way around?
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