The Private and the Public in Trump’s America on New Year’s Day 2018

1 Jan

The Private and the Public in Trump’s America on New Year’s Day 2018


I realize how insensitive I have been in sending messages to a few friends in which I suggested that we should look forward in the year ahead to private satisfactions, while being wary of public hopes given the looming storm clouds of Trumpism. The assumption I glibly made was that the private and public were distinct domains, which is true to some extent for those of use who are not Hispanic, Muslim, African-American, poor, homeless, or somehow vulnerable.


Of course, the slogan ‘the personal is political’ is in some profound sense true for all of us, however privileged and shielded from public abuse we happen to be. How we choose to treat others is always a political act for better or worse, and radiates beyond our personal actions, thoughts, and feelings. Yet there is a blandness about such a perception if it does acknowledge the more impinging effects of the political for all those who are forced to live, in some way, at the edge. What Trump has done is to push millions more, who were already experiencing the pains of vulnerability, marginality, and inequality, closer to falling from the precipice. Trump’s Muslim bans, hostility to immigrants, anachronistic nativism, white supremacist and alt-right sympathies create air to toxic to breathe, especially for those already living with daily fears and uncertainties.


A related clarifying thought: Trump and Trumpism are only viable because of the opportunistic cowardice of the Republican Party, which has struck the most lamentable of Faustian Bargains—selling their conservative souls for a reactionary social and economic agenda that accentuates the existing distortions evident in American society: nurturing the greed of the wealthy and turning a blind eye to the poor and vulnerable.


Additionally, Trumpism gives us ample occasion to weep on behalf of an abused nature, a threatened habitat, even ecological collapse.


This leads me to this conclusion on New Year’s Day 2018: the most worthy political resolution of this new year is to resist Trumpism in every way we can, and do so in compassionate solidarity with those whose private spaces have been so darkly encroached upon by the punitive policies and practices of the current political leadership in this country.

3 Responses to “The Private and the Public in Trump’s America on New Year’s Day 2018”

  1. Boysie Dent January 1, 2018 at 11:27 am #

    I find it extremely difficult to understand – Why so many people think that DJ Trump was going to be any different from all the others since JF Kennedy – not only hat they write daily of their dissappointment as if they are sharing something really really special –

    From my extremely narrow viewpoint – the world cares very little for who the president of America is and what he / she does or does not do – the world simply want to get on with their lives – without the spectacle of America and Americans with their boot on the throat of its victims – both physically / financially /

    Americans have made their beds – they did not ask the people of the world “Hey Joe – What do you think of this or that” – America / Americans simply imposed themself both physically and financially – and then they ask that you read the diatribe that they happen to write –

    Frankly, I do not care – you have made your own bed – I did NOT ask that you also make mine – but you have anyways and so I must exist with the debilitating thought that America has it’s foot on my throat and nothing I can say or do will make any difference..

    Because my so-called leaders / elites / intelligentia in my country has been so corrupted – that the rest of the population has been left to its own devices – resulting in an endless spiral o crime / homicides – (do you know that since 1990 to 2017 – 1490 individuals were killed by each other / the police / the armed forces in a population of 2 million adults and you want me to care about you and your problems with Donald Trump) –

    America has made your bed and has forced its nefarious activities on the world – that is the big picture – and that is the problem – so while you are privilidged to be able to sit in absolute comfort and write with great style – very many people when I am sitting “work all week and cannot afford to eat)

    Yesterday, 31, December 2017 is the same as today 01, January 2018 and on 31 December 2018 nothing will have changed for most of the people in my country…except maybe they have dies from the / vaccinations / GMO / foodstuff / The World Bank / USAID / IMF austerity measures / lack of access to medical care / or forced to pay fines in the courts – because they can’t afford to send their children to school or any number of the consequences of austerity an poverty as dictated by America – through its various octopus like channels

    So you see – Don’t Tell me Your Problems – I have Very Many of my Own>>>>>

  2. Mike 71 January 1, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

    Herbert Marcuse is dead and little remembered outside of Marxist circles!

  3. Beau Oolayforos January 2, 2018 at 10:31 am #

    Welcome, ye poor, tired, huddled masses – c’mon over & get high in the Great Sanctuary State of CA !!

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