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What’s Wrong With Snobbery?

“If we are going to let Trump get us depressed, then he still has control of us.”

– Rabbi Steven Jacobs

Internal exile or “inner emigration” is what happens in fascist countries like Putin’s Russia or Pinochet’s Chile when citizens don’t go along with the regime but also want to duck the pain and risk of open resistance.

Such “inner defiance” can run from quiet gentle opposition to subtle jokes to just getting on with one’s own personal work, like the German painter Otto Dix and Sartre-Beauvoir under Nazi occupation, deafening oneself to the Leader’s noise.

Voltaire had his hero Candide decide to turn away from the world’s cruelty and “cultivate one’s own garden”.  That is, mind your own business.

I don’t know if I’m going that way but like one or two friends I  hardly look at the newspaper since Nov. 8 and force myself away from TV except to watch Classic Baseball Games or cooking shows.  Leave me alone, I’d rather talk to myself than constantly be psyched up for the oncoming roar of the locomotive bearing down on us, like Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive”.

This too will pass.   I grew up on newsprint, caring not if it carried lies and slander, and
clancysigalblack the beast will have to be fed sooner or later.  Right now I’m full of rage and guilt – it’s all my fault!  For not listening to myself.  For refusing to know what I knew, that their grudge would beat our demographics.  Take that Rachel Maddow!

NOT HAVING “SOLUTIONS” TO CONFRONTING THE RECKLESS LOCOMOTIVE ISN’T SUCH A BAD PLACE TO BE.  Wandering lost in a palace of illusions is a little bruising – you keep bumping your knee against sharp-edged old assumptions.  But  I’d rather have a skinned knee than fall victim to what some of us are doing now, trying to “understand”, or better yet empathize, with the people who are beating us up.

(Bernie Sanders and I are both from the Jewish working class.  But he won’t like the rest of this.)

In coming days we “liberal coastal elites” will need all our arrogance and self confidence.  To hell with the deplorables.  They hate us and only want revenge, on us and as it will turn out, themselves.

Don’t cede an inch to the ignoramii.  We will claw back our gains despite them.   Half the country declared war  on us who live in the other half.  Us is multi-colored multi-sexed multi anything else we can think of.

Embrace our elitism.  We’re smart, we’re as potentially nimble as Harrison Ford escaping the Death Train, and we own the keys to the kingdom of science and rationality.

Nuts to the fucked over flyovers.  We’re fucked, too.

More articles by:

Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset

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