I’ve been working on a post that explains why I want to back away from our political crisis, but it’s been slow going. Meanwhile, an exchange that appeared on Brian Wilson’s community forum might be of interest.
First, some background. Brian Wilson (my favorite musician, who is best known as the creative force behind the Beach Boys) has a website that includes a forum mainly intended for fans to discuss his music and other aspects of his career. Occasionally, however, other topics come up.
A few days ago, a person who apparently lives in Germany and goes by the name “Cantina Margarita” (a reference to the song “Heroes and Villains”) announced that he or she was leaving the board after 10 years of participation:
I’d like to thank you all for some 10 years of being allowed to be a part of this community. Now it’s time to say goodbye because I feel I can’t continue having musical discussions on a US music forum, suspecting all the time to be talking to Donald Trump voters.
I can’t go on discussing music and concerts, trying to ignore the subject. It’s a very ugly and dangerous fly [???], and I’m used to expressing my opinion quite frankly. I can’t do this here without spoiling BW’s board, and this is not something I want this forum to suffer….
Keep having a nice time here, I just don’t feel like being in any longer.
My account is just being cancelled.
Maybe, only maybe, I’ll return after the next POTUS election, under a new nick. American politics is just too important to the rest of the world to ignore it.
As you’d expect, there were a variety of responses to this post. Some people thought it was an overreaction. Why stop communicating with Americans in general just because millions of us voted a certain way? For example:
I am puzzled by this too. I don’t like the way your election went, so I cannot talk to an entire country’s people?
I’m trying to look for an interpretation of this that does not seem like holding your breath until your face turns blue, or ‘cutting off your ear to spite your face’, etc., but I am failing.
Since Cantina Margarita was no longer available, well, it was a dirty job, but somebody had to…
How about this interpretation:
It matters to the whole world when America chooses a new president. Yet millions of Americans chose a person who is manifestly unfit for the job and whose presence in the White House constitutes a clear and present danger. I am so damned angry and worried about this that it’s hard to keep quiet about it, especially when I communicate with Americans. And since Americans who post here are probably among those responsible for putting this person in office, I’d rather not interact with them. Sadly, since I don’t know how people here voted (or if they chose not to vote, even in such an important election), I’m going to leave this board rather than have pleasant discussions with these people about Brian Wilson, given how I feel about the decision they made. Maybe I’ll be back when your country comes to its senses and it’s reasonable to assume that the person I’m communicating with didn’t make such a horrible decision, putting themselves and others around the world at serious risk.
I know this may sound extreme, but this person being the American president is far more extreme. None of us should accept this situation and go about our business in the usual way.
By the way, a powerful member of the president’s party expressed deep concerns about the president this week:
Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”
In an extraordinary rebuke of a president of his own party, Mr. Corker said he was alarmed about a president who acts “like he’s doing ‘The Apprentice’ [a TV show] or something.”
“He concerns me,” Mr. Corker added. “He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation.”
… All but inviting his colleagues to join him in speaking out about the president, Mr. Corker said his concerns about Mr. Trump were shared by nearly every Senate Republican.
“Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here,” he said, adding that “of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.”
So far, other Senate Republicans have declined Sen. Corker’s implied invitation to share their thoughts. However, a Republican congressman, Mark Meadows, did say “it’s easy to be bold when you’re not coming back”, referring to the fact that Sen. Corker won’t seek re-election in 2018. I suppose that Rep. Meadows does want to be re-elected, so being bold is out of the question.
Now back to backing away from the current crisis.