I have been using the analogy of pulling the cord to stop the train when it is headed for the cliff, even if you don’t know what happens next. I see that Richard Fernandez has now adopted the analogy.
I don’t see Trump voters as doing anything noble or particularly courageous but it is a risk and many of us are willing to take it.
Fernandez uses the example of Torpedo Squadron 8 which was a factor in the success of the US Navy in the Battle of Midway. John Waldron did not sacrifice his men and his own life voluntarily but he had a mission and he carried it out in spite of everything that stood in his way. The fighters of Fighting 8 that were supposed to provide cover got lost in the confusion. According to Alvin Kernan’s book The Unknown Battle of Midway: The Destruction of the American Torpedo Squadrons, other pilots nearly attacked the leader of Fighting 8 after the battle.
Fernandez uses the sacrifice of Waldron and Torpedo 8 as a metaphor for the 2016 election while remembering the crucial battle fought 74 years ago today.
While the path leading to the present is disputed, no one appears to deny America has now arrived in a critical place whose abnormality is most evident in a contest between two presidential candidates neither of whom is widely supported by their nominating parties. None of the two candidates is actually expected to solve the multiple foreign policy and domestic crises currently besetting the country. In fact one candidate may have helped cause many of the current problems while the other’s main attraction is that he may function as a demolition charge which will clear out the roadblocks that have paralyzed America.
If political columnist Ron Fournier is right about this election cycle, it is less about achieving incremental policy change than precipitating a radical institutional change. In that case the current unpopularity contest can be seen as an deliberate process to increase instability by hoping the worst man wins, not in order to continue the status quo but to tear things down and start afresh.
I think it is more important to stop the trends initiated by Obama and the increasingly radical Democrats than to attempt any serious foreign policy initiative.
the winner of the 2016 contest will likely be a transitional figure rather than a harbinger of a lasting tendency. The winner is more probably going to be overwhelmed by events in this period of flux. But that doesn’t matter. Their task is to stop “the train even if they don’t know what happens next.” And ‘what happens next’ is a question that can only be meaningfully asked once crucial missing piece becomes available. What exactly that is, is unknown.
I have no idea what Trump will do as president but I think it is likely that we will see what that is. Right now, we have to get America moving again and to defend the country from the increasingly unstable and radical elements of the Democrats. China and Russia are both heading into their own rough waters. We have the opportunity to make ourselves immune from the energy crisis that has bedeviled our policies since 1979. To try to understand the behavior of the American Ruling Class right now, I am reading, The Collapse of Complex Societies. Maybe that will help me to understand the seemingly insane policies of the global warming crowd.
The future is a blank slate. We cannot know it, especially in a time like this when logic and common sense seem to be obsolete.