The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Don't Sweat the Republicans. Here's Why.

Try to put down your personal data assistant for a minute. Your mind is about to explode from the insanity on display in Cleveland, from the reports of violence, or even from the (forgive me) tweets. (So many tweets in the news these days!) You need to remember that precisely the same number of people ALWAYS vote for the Republicans, and all the hyperbole about this particularly election cycle being particular will come to look just that particularly uninteresting. Other Republican candidates have been just as bizarrely out of touch with the times, and have pandered just as much to the fears and resentments of white have-nots and fundamentalists and good old boys and crotchety insurance salesmen - more even sometimes. Sure the candidate du jour is a blowhard, but which one wasn't? He's just greasier and less polished. We got to defeat him, no question. But don't you remember how close it was with Bush? With McCain, with Romney? Don't be so glum, chum! Just don't believe the yarn about the dismantling of the Republican party. They're still polling over 40% with their worst candidate in years. Some (not I) would say Hilary's the worst Dem candidate in years too, but there she is holding the same shoestring lead as Obama before her. The difference is that the political climate has changed a bit, with radicals on the right and left feeling emboldened. Do I sound like I'm turning 50? As a matter of fact, tomorrow...

Why do we forget every four years that this is a big, big, big country. About 90% white across the states that faithfully vote Republican. And even in those states you find legions of liberals, just not enough (yet) to be the majority. The country was founded by puritan racists, who if you think of it have actually come a long way since their slave-owning Indian-slaughtering days. Maybe not as far as we'd like...but forgive them father, for they are hopelessly ignorant and poorly dressed.

And I'd like to remind us all. Remember that "revolution" in 1968? Hardly made a dent, really. Some would say that consciousness shifted, but real lasting change? Just a bit, as the nation soldiers on, with much of the rest of the world in tatters or fraying. I don't believe we're on the verge of a radical shake-up anymore than I think that Brexit will lead to anything more than massive legal bills and a new rise of Labour, which will finally change its name to something more 21st Century. Like "The EDM Rave Party." REAL shit is going down in Turkey, in Nigeria, in Syria. We lumber towards greater civil rights and greater justice at the pace of backyard slug, but we don't tear apart, and that is truly remarkable. Our Constitution practically demands it, what with its checks and balances and gerrymanders and tug of war between state and Fed.

When you compare the Republicans to the worst abusers in the world, perhaps we should feel fortunate. The GOP is not dominated by murderers (just 20% or so are even card-carrying sadists), and I know a fair number and they can sometimes surprise you with their general regard for human life and civil liberties. When presented with solid arguments, some can even (eventually) be persuaded to change their minds. The others die off, as the country veers towards greater multiculturalism.

I emphatically believe that the police shootings will end, that vote will happen and the country will go back to normal, as it does every goddam four years. The young will suffer the first humiliation, get full time jobs and children, and turn into their own version of middle-aged bloggers who are frustrated by the slow pace of progress. With leadership and some strong support from the media, #BLM will become a powerful force for racial justice. It will hopefully change its name, since as I've written before the killings by police can't help but continue, white/black and other. Remember that sadist statistic? And they're in every field by the way. Even insurance salesmen.

Despite the rhetoric and the pundits and the loudest voices...the country is not fracturing. Perhaps this is not music to your ears. Perhaps you think revolution is in the air. I don't think so. We're too invested in our P.D.A.'s and binge-TV to suffer it. A lurch to the left never hurt, though.


Anonymous said...

Clinton is going to lose.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Nope. She'll carry more states than any Democrat since the other Clinton. They basically have the same machine.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that people seem so shocked by the Trump candidacy, but I think they need to realize how freaked out they'd be if it were Cruz or Rubio too. We go through this every four years - "how could so many Americans be (fill in the blank)"

They are because they are. They're your countrymen and women. Not all are awful, but a lot are. Few are informed, but that could be said of Democrats too. The point is, despite the extraordinary polarization that is somehow new, according to the pundits, is actually as old as the Republic, and certainly nothing new in my lifetime. Build a wall? That idea has been around for decades. Limit immigration and promote Christian values? More like a century or two. Economic protectionism? As old as the country. Brash candidates? Look at Teddy Roosevelt or Barry Goldwater. Sexist, racist demagogues? Don't get me started.

Unknown said...

Really racist. Remember"Not in my Blackyard.Do not hide booted out from CB#9 go give Donald J. Trump a kiss for me.

The Bamma Himself-Long time waiting.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Hey Kasa, longtime. Folks this is a guy who likes to personally threaten me off the blog. I'm leaving this digital trail for, I don't know, forensic reasons.

Anyhow Kasa I feel really sad for you. You don't know what a racist is. A racist is a person who hates and/or fears and often stereotypes people of another race. A racist is likely to act on these in ways both subtle and overt. As a country with a long racist history, the mechanisms of white on black racism are at work even when an individual may not conform to the definition. That's why it's contingent on all of us to buck the system wherever possible.

I don't hate or fear black people, and I do my very best to look for the best in people and try never to assume I know anything about someone before getting to know them. I do however strongly dislike CERTAIN people, though frankly, not near as many black as white. You and your colleague Imani Henry (I know you're close) need to take a look at yourselves, and discover whether you are pure of spirit and motivated purely by a sense of moral justice. Mixed in with your anger is a deep immaturity and maybe even borderline personality disorder. This lethal cocktail blinds you to your own shortcomings. Mine are well-documented; the only thing missing is an index at the back of the blog.

I bid you good night. I have your name, I know your friends, and I know your address and phone number. Don't get stupid. Better yet, get lost.

Alex said...

The common thread among our fake neighborhood activists appears to be incoherence.

The Snob said...

And poor punctuation; let's not forget that one.