Let us call a spade a spade.
About half of America’s white people—comprising a little more than a third of the entire population—have embraced three propositions.
Two of these propositions are actually true. One is false.
The three propositions are …
PROPOSITION ONE:Their white privilege is at great risk, due to changes in social norms, changes in legislation and judicial decisions, and, most importantly, ongoing demographic changes.The world they live in is already foreign and unrecognizable to them.
PROPOSITION TWO:Among people prominent on the national scene, including Republican politicians, only Donald Trump gives priority to protecting white privilege. Others quietly tweet on dog whistles now and then, but then go back to promoting their real agenda, which is protecting plutocratic privilege, not white privilege. Among reasonably prominent people on the national scene, only Donald Trump ostentatiously shares their fear and loathing of black and brown people. They are Trump’s peeps, and he is theirs.
Both Proposition One and Proposition Two are true.
PROPOSITION THREE:Protection of white privilege is of such signal importance that it far transcends any other concern, such as gross income inequality or health care. Such as not living in a country run by a manifestly incompetent opinionated ignoramus. Such as not having a president in Vladimir Putin’s back pocket. Such as preserving Madisonian democracy.
Proposition Three is lunacy. Adhering to Proposition Three evidences a deep sickness of the soul.
Every Day, It Seems, Donald Trump Gets out of Bed …
… and asks himself, “Self, what new trick can I perform today to persuade anyone with a frontal lobe that I am utterly unfit for the office I hold? Pick a blithering idiot to run 17 intelligence agencies? Insult black and brown people—and link that sentiment with fear and loathing of intellectual achievement, fear and loathing of expertise, and fear and loathing of urban areas? Yesterday, I told 13 lies so blatantly false that no one could possibly believe them. Today, I need to top that record. Am I creative enough to pull 19 new lies out of my ass during the course of the day?”
To want such a person as your leader, you have to have phenomenally bad judgment. Or you must be desperate. Folks, it’s the desperation.
When You Have Eliminated the Impossible, Whatever Remains, However Improbable, Must Be the Truth
I put it to you that, by application of Sherlock Holmes’ maxim, the only satisfactory explanation for the political behavior of a third of our population is an embrace of white privilege über alles.