I have paid virtually no attention to Donald Trump’s recent unexpected rise to political prominence stemming from his “courageous” stance against illegal immigration. Part of me thinks this has shades of previous dog-and-pony shows where Republicans promised to “listen to the backbone of this country and take a stand.” Even if it’s different this time and Trump is riding a groundswell of real anger arising from murders committed by illegal aliens who have criminal histories, all I can think to say is, “It’s too damn late!”
For over a decade the country chose to enjoy the benefits of cheap labor as well as the materialistic hunger of America’s imported Third World shoppers. We made our bed and it consists of a large demographic shift already in progress. You can’t stop it now so get off the soapbox and stop proposing absurd solutions like “The Great Wall of America.” Hell, if the economy ever collapses we may want to walk south.
As a personal aside, the maintenance man in my building is a late 20s guy whose parents are from Mexico, and he himself was either born here or born there and brought here at a young age. Truth is he’s about as all-American as you can get and we have great conversations. Once he laughed to me that he would freak out if he had to live in Mexico now. A few months ago he was T-boned in traffic by a girl who ran a red light because she was texting–ya can’t have a more American experience than that!
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I’ve been an idealist all of my life but each year experience and observation make me more of a pragmatist. Now I often mutter “that’s a bunch of bullshit” and have no patience for the platitudes and fluffy talk that define public life. The rigors of being a straight, white male small business owner in a time when society froths over everything that isn’t me–women, gays, minorities–keeps me pretty grounded and maybe that’s why I can give a no-nonsense take on things.
Because here’s a little insight: being “privileged” means never being able to have an excuse. If I fail I don’t have a network of advocates waiting in the wings to hug me and tell me I’m great just because I’m part of this or that group. No, I just have to stay focused and work, figure things out on my own, aggregate all the knowledge acquired over a lifetime, and keep going.
When a girl has a tech support problem she asks one of her many male adorers for help–he figures out the problem in hope that she will shine a ray of praise upon him, but ultimately what has happened is that he is now knowledgeable about something new and she has atrophied by riding the magic carpet of her charm. Compound that over a decade or two and it’s no wonder why men seem smarter than women and outperform them. We have to try harder in life.
Don’t even get me started on the outrageous meme that says “anything a man can do a woman can do better.” Oh really? I just spent the past 45 days setting up a new office and let me tell you, half the stuff I had to do a woman could either not do at all or would at least take twice as long. Like the desk I bought off Craigslist yesterday–I single-handedly was able to get all the pieces into the office and then built it by myself. A woman would either need at least one more person to help lift the pieces, but more likely would just hire a man to do the job. We are the wind beneath your flightless wings, baby!
I don’t even care whether someone can lift large, heavy objects or not. I stand in protest to the delusional state of mind that feminism has ingrained in women today to think that they can do things they are neither equipped or experienced to deal with. This explains the shocked expression on their faces in the viral videos where a woman provokes a much bigger man until he finally can’t take the verbal and physical abuse anymore and dumps her onto the ground.
For an adult male to behave like these women is unheard of–we all learned at some point in our teens that there are real consequences when you mouth off. In 8th grade I opened my big mouth on the school bus not realizing the guy I was insulting was slumped down in the back seat. We later had two fights over it and at the second each of us somehow had a “posse” backing us up, and after we had separated one of his boys–a guy 2 or 3 years older than me–shouted something about me calling him a racial slur, came over and gave me a punch-kick combo to the face which put me on the ground. I hadn’t said a damn word to him but he still kicked my ass. Ah, life lessons. Consequences. Learning the meaning of the word “no” as you are put in your place.
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Well, it’s been another meandering essay! But I guess the conclusion would be to say that this is what you get from an honest, uncelebrated man toiling away in the shadows while everyone else seems to be getting pandered to or doing the pandering. A whole lot of flash and kabuki theater without much real actual work getting done. On paper Donald Trump may be a SWM like me but in truth daily life tells me I’ve got more in common with my wholesaler who walked over from Mexico back in the early 90s and now works 6 days a week, just like me.
Final note: My views have certainly changed in the 20 months since I began this blog. In some ways I’m sharper and harsher but in others I feel softer, more empathetic. I have endured and risen above the disappointments that seem to constitute the process of “second birth” that a man goes through as he leaves young adulthood behind and moves into his mid-30s, sights now set on 40 and beyond. Richard Rohr’s book “Adam’s Return” is a powerful parable on this necessary downfall; it helped me through a very dark winter in Portland a couple years back and I recommend it to anyone who has run the tank to empty and feels lost.