Someday, if I live to be about 90 or 100 years old, I expect that future generations won’t believe me when I talk about what it was like to live through this era.
I don’t think people of the future will believe just how dumb things are, right now.
(There’s a view, half-joking, that things are so dumb that there won’t be a future – that we’ll manage to nuke ourselves this time. So I guess believing there will be a future makes me an optimist.)
Earlier this week, the president of the United States, a buffoonish real estate developer/reality show star who talks like a racist, malfunctioning Speak & Spell, met with the president of Russia.
It did not go well.
But this is just another in the long list of bizarre, but by now not surprising, incidents that seem to take place pretty much daily.
A full listing of the nonsense that’s taken place over the last couple of years would require hundreds of pages.
And it is nonsense. It’s weird. It’s often hilarious. It’s deeply stupid.
At the same time, it’s as serious as a heart attack. Kids kept in cages, environmental rules slashed, violent racists coddled, old alliances and vital trade deals blowing up left right and centre, and, oh yeah, that whole thing where the president of the United States is either a Russian intelligence asset, or is acting exactly like one because… his dad didn’t say ‘I love you’ enough?
But historians of the future, take heed!
The temptation will be strong to plaster over this period in history with a thick layer of explanations. Post facto justifications will be teased forth, very real resentments and economic dislocations will be cited.
But do not be mistaken. This is the stupidest era in at least a century of political history.
Donald Trump is willfully stupid, and so are the vast bulk of his supporters. They ignore evidence and logic. They prefer lies to truth. And that’s how we got here: lies and stupidity, and the future needs to know that as complex as the world is, that’s the key to this era.