Destructive Progressive Anger

Progressives’ response to Mr. Biden

I have been perplexed by the frequent efforts of many progressives here on Medium to help Mr. Trump win re-election. Of course, they don’t phrase it that way — they just complain endlessly about Mr. Biden’s many sins and the evils of the Democratic Party. I’m no fan of Mr. Biden, but I cannot understand how any rational person could not see the existential threat that Mr. Trump poses to America. So I keep mulling it over: why are progressives doing this?

Reading a column in The Economist gave me the answer. The columnist was talking about young people in southern Europe, but his points apply to young people in America as well. These people were hit with the Great Recession early in their careers; many had difficulty getting decent jobs, and every one of them knows at least one worthy person who still can’t find a job. Housing prices have been so high as to prevent them from owning their own homes. Many are saddled with big college debts. And now the Covid-19 pandemic comes along and throws many of them out of work again.

The American Promise has always been that if you work hard and save your money, you can buy a house, raise a family, and live a comfortable life. That promise has become a taunt for the twenty-somethings and some of the thirty-somethings. They’re looking forward to a life without hope of advancement.

And of course, climate change looms over their future like a cloud of doom.
These people are justifiably angry that they’re getting such a rotten deal. What was easy for their parents is impossible for them. Meanwhile, the 1% are basking in obscene wealth. To these people the world looks like a cruel joke, and they cannot see any path that leads to success or satisfaction. They believe that they are doomed to a life of toil and failure.

So they’re frustrated and angry. Because they cannot see any solution to their problems, they have come to the cynical conclusion that they can at least make everybody else suffer as they are suffering. They want Mr. Trump to win re-election and reduce this country to ruins. They won’t admit it out loud; perhaps they won’t admit it to themselves. Like Samson, they want to pull the temple down on themselves and everybody else.

I have spent a lot of time here on Medium denouncing the efforts of progressives to get Mr. Trump re-elected. I have argued with them, showing them just how irrational their thinking is. I’ve gotten nowhere with them; rationalism is no match for their anger.

What can be done? Pointing out that Mr. Trump is much worse than Mr. Biden doesn’t make an impression. They haven’t experienced enough presidents to recognize just how dangerously different Mr. Trump is; they think he’s normal. They hold Mr. Biden in contempt because he’s part of the system that put them in the deep hole they’re in.

For now, I’m just going to keep asking them why they want Mr. Trump to win. That might force them to admit the truth to themselves.

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Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling. www.erasmatazz.com

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Chris Crawford

Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling. www.erasmatazz.com