Talking to the Sleepwalkers

As someone who has slowly become aware of the depths of the change going on in the country I’ve recently been in the odd position of acting as an interpreter to my even less aware brethren. At a family gathering I was drawn into a discussion of the recent Charlottesville riot. The prevailing opinion was that Trump had botched it by addressing the situation the way he did.
• It was a mistake to give the press the chance to tie him to the protesters.
• They were bemoaning his drops in opinion polls and the chaos at the White House.
• I was warned about the danger to the Senate majority and the inevitability of impeachment.
• I was told that he must begin getting on message and concentrate on passing an agenda that included tax reform and spending cuts.
The talk became rather heated and I tried to convince them that what they took for a bug was a feature. I tried to make them understand that what Trump needed to do was not embrace the moderates but wake up the sleep walkers. And that they themselves were the sleepwalkers. I pointed out that any actual Nazis there were more than matched in evil by the fascistic Antifa present at the proceedings. Highlighting that and countering the narrative coming from the press and the establishment political parties was Trump’s job and needed to be done. I’m not sure I was successful in convincing my audience. I think their time hasn’t yet arrived. Or maybe it won’t. For some the chaos that would occur during a full-blown confrontation between left and right is unthinkable. Hell, even I view such an event with enormous trepidation and distaste. But just as strongly I reject the notion that these leftist miscreants should destroy what’s good about this country.
At a certain point in the conversation I was asked how Trump calling out the left could succeed in reversing the damage that already had been done by the left. I answered that he couldn’t. All he could do was try to wake up the sleepwalkers to how much trouble we are in. Wake them up and and hope that there are enough of them left to win by democratic means. When asked how likely that was I made up a number based on how pessimistic I felt. Maybe thirty percent, maybe ten? Later on, I thought about that guess and realized that ten percent was actually closer to what I believed.
The next day I noticed that everyone actually seemed a little more optimistic about the future. I think just talking with someone who wasn’t discouraged with how Trump was addressing the press and the left seemed to help them even if the prognosis for difficult times ahead was part of the package. We discussed how to take positive action and improve our own personal environments. Build business and social connections to protect ourselves and our families from disruptions to come. We even discussed what areas of the country might be the best place for us to coalesce to. It was a real shot in the arm. So today I’m encouraged. People can learn that there are alternatives to capitulation. If you articulate the futility of the establishment appeasement position people will listen. And if they listen sometimes they wake up. And talking about it with friends actually seems therapeutic.
Did I wake anyone up? I don’t know, but at least now I feel like I want to keep trying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *