President MOABA: Mother Of All Bullshit Artists
If nothing else, Donald Trump is a powerful reality check that hopefully will influence the left to trim the fat from its self-indulgent, identity-focused politics that can cripple the effort to forge a unified, pragmatic left that includes the full range of middle and working class needs, things like public infrastructure, an education system that includes more critical thinking, a fair criminal justice system that corrects past injustices, the deconstruction of US militarism and empire without relinquishing security in a dangerous world and a dedication to straight talk in campaigning and governing. One aspect of "straight talk" is to recognize the ways past US actions have made the world more dangerous. Of course, this is a very anti-Trumpian idea that involves dialogue and a practical devotion to truth.
In 1969 at the height of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement, Norman Mailer ran a flamboyant campaign for mayor of New York. Jimmy Breslin was his running mate, running for president of city counsel. A labor leader friend of mine would call them "two-fisted guys." Mailer’s slogan was simple: “Cut the bullshit!” They were tricksters then; now would be different. If Donald Trump can tell crowds over and over he wants to "bomb the shit out of" people, "cut the bullshit!" would be a great 2018 campaign slogan -- in conjunction with better use of right-brain tools of art -- to wipe the metaphoric scat from the cracks and crevices of our national brain.
NOTE: As always, the term "bullshit" is used here in the sense established by Harvard philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt in his little gem of a book titled On Bullshit, which opens with: "One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit."