Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Thanksgiving Topic is Participation Trophy.

The last entry's title, which insinuates that MAGA merchandise is the Trump world Participation Trophy was hinted at, but not fleshed out.  I'll try to do that a little here.

It is now some time ago that I also wrote a piece on how I felt that the kooky radio 'conservatives' occupy the basement of political thought and responsibility.  I suppose now, it has the chance of becoming a motif of my writings.

But a motif built around the cult's shallow political base, in the end, is just a reminder of the old adage that knowledge is power.

But I really do think a case can be made that MAGA merchandise is essentially self bought participation trophy cum memorabilia.

First of all, and most insignificant, is that that MAGA gear was developed as a merchandising gimmick long before anything was won.   Sure he eventually did win,  but it was participating that mattered then.  Of course working toward a common goal, akin to those cute kiddies playing soccer -- trying to convince us, and themselves that they are special too.

But win he did, and as that both does and doesn't sanctify everything swirling around this significant historical figure ( notice that I did not say great, I said significant )  it did give the MAGA wearing rubes something that every child on a Saturday morning wants too.

The reason that MAGA hasn't elevated itself to its lofty intent, though many question the premise despite even now after almost 3 years of reverse progress, is because there is no way on God's green earth of nearly 8 billion people that the cream of the crop, as recognized by the leaders sent out to engage the world, is as silly as this guy who runs our country.

Or in other words,  there is no way in my view of how the world works, that Donald Trump is going to be able lead in the circles that for the leverage that our great country has bestowed on him to affect matters.   But it needs to be articulated again for the participation trophy get the trophy just for showing up.   As critics say, when I was a kid, if we didn't win we didn't get credit with an award just for showing up.   Trump won essentially a skewed popularity contest,  he earned a spot at the world's top table.    It's another competition now, where winning isn't necessarily reducible to the logic of a crowd living in the now, and not so much cognizant of the past.

But if his mark is just a fool's journey, then that's the greatest achievement considering the incomprehensible opportunity he was given. 

I could substantiate my cynicism with plenty of examples of what I consider devaluing to our country, our culture, our democracy, our standing, and our honor but to do so would create a situation where the sheer enormity of deviancy would diminish the sense of loss in fields of competition that should of been jealously protected from the generations that vote, who empower right here, right now here.

To say jealously protected, I mean in the old school way of "Don't Tread on Me" meant not to interfere in our peculiar experiment at democracy  Mr. Putin.

To say jealously protected, I mean understanding that the world was our Cold War victory trophy, it bears our mark based on our internal institutions ramrodded on the world.  The United States writ large. 

If Trump intends to created a new world order based on tariff wars and  obsequiousness to our erst while enemies, that's not making America great, that's making America a secondary actor in our own theater.   Oh how the mighty star has fallen.

But when a participation trophy satisfies,  why ask the bigger questions, like what makes a nation great today?   Knowing the answer to that would sustain America's greatness, the future, as is the real trophy, will likely not be given to those not working hard enough to win.