Five years ago, I juxtaposed two quotes from James Howard Kunstler to reconstruct a prediction about American politics from the movie "The End of Suburbia."
There will be a great battle to preserve the supposed entitlements to suburbia and it will be an epochal act of futility, a huge waste of effort and resources that might have been much better spent in finding new ways to carry on an American civilization.Kunstler was both right and wrong about that prediction, as I pointed out when I revisited that quote in my comment on Slowly, Then All at Once.
Americans will elect maniacs who promise to allow them to keep their McMansions and their commutes and that’s going to produce a lot of political friction, probably a lot of violence, probably a threat to our democratic institutions.
As for Trump, you once predicted that Americans would elect maniacs who would promise that they could keep the entitlements of suburbia. Trump has shown you to be right and wrong about that. Yes, they'll elect maniacs to protect the entitlements of suburbia, but those entitlements turned out to be psychological and social, not physical. Trump's support is more a response to threats to the social environment as it is to losing SUVs and McMansions, which with the price of oil being low right now, are not issues like they were in 2008 and 2012. Instead, it's immigration, terrorism, and "law and order."What I also wrote, but didn't post because I didn't want to inflame Vlad, who now goes by Janos, and his fellow deplorables was a second observation.
The one thing missing from "The End of Suburbia" was any discussion of White Flight; the movement to the suburbs was all phrased in class terms, not racial ones. That's something my students from Detroit and its suburbs notice.I still managed to attract a response from Vlad/Janos, but I ignored him for my own peace of mind. After last night's election results, I have no peace of mind left for him to disturb.
I'm not alone. Here are links to others who are fighting a losing battle with despair:
- Andrew Sullivan: The Republic Repeals Itself
- David Remnick: An American Tragedy
- Ryan Lizza and others: A Few Thoughts on the Unthinkable
- Charles Pierce: This Is the Worst Election Night of My Life
On the other hand, I expect The Archdruid will be insufferable tonight, when he posts his weekly blog. He's been predicting a Trump victory for months now and he's been proven right. Barf. I was so looking forward to rubbing his nose in being wrong.