For some time now, it has been clear that just under one third of our fellow ‘Mericans are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. The world as they knew it is fast receding. They fear and dread expertise, scientific progress, and loss of cultural and racial privilege. And things have reached such a pass that the only way for them to scratch their itch is to exercise dictatorship over the other two thirds of us.
It was inevitable that this sentiment would lead to a point where push would come to shove. When World War I is waiting to happen, somewhere, an archduke will get shot and the war will be on. When the Thirty Years War is inevitable, somewhere in eastern Europe there will be a defenestration and armies will march.
And so, when we take a long view of history, it probably isn’t surprising that the immediate precipitating cause of our present crisis a matter that is largely symbolic—the Seinfeld Shutdown.
But our current crisis differs from the Thirty Years War and World War I in a crucial feature. In both of those earlier historical tragedies, both sides fought in a reasonably competent manner.
Here, by contrast, Trump’s grand strategy for outlasting his opponents is to force 800,000 people to work for no pay, over an extended period of times.
The problem with this strategy is that, in reality, 800,000 people will not work without pay for an extended period of time. Either they will get paid, or they will stop working. Either the TSA agents will get paid, or they will stop working and the entire airline industry will shut down. A similar fate will befall many other industries.
I have said before that the plutocracy will intervene forcefully, before our economy has quite gone to hell in a handbasket, and I reiterate that prognostication.
But it appears from current polling that sentiment among ordinary folk is strongly trending in the same direction. According to Pew Research Center,
About 7 in 10 of those who support the wall said they would oppose any compromise. But nearly 9 in 10 of those who oppose the wall said they, too, wanted to stick to their guns — meaning that, overall, more than half the country both opposes the wall and opposes compromising on that position.
Opposition to Trump’s position is so robust that the number of people who oppose the wall but think a compromise is acceptable is lower than the portion of Trump’s supporters who would accept a deal that didn’t include wall funding.
No, ladies and gentlemen, there will be no dictatorship of the 29 percent. They are mad as hell. But so are we.
We’re not caving. And Nancy Pelosi is on our side. And Donald Trump is badly in need of a steel jockstrap.