By MIKE HANCOCK
Special to the PRESS
“Those who know me know I’m not a Trump fan. I’ve voted independent the last couple of cycles, and I see myself doing it again. The alternatives are so far off the radar I can’t even fathom it. I like my health plan… you can’t tell me to give it up, AND pay more for the privilege. You can’t force me to drive an electric car—I refuse. You can’t tell me to pay off everyone’s student loans—I paid mine, it’s possible. Our current choices are between a racist narcissist and fairy tale, unicorn economics. There is NO COMMON SENSE in our political discourse today. Sad and scary time.”
Among mid to upper middle class, suburban Texas, this opinion is about median. This was a facebook post that garnered several comments, all positive. All of them fitting the above criteria, and, for what it’s worth, they were all white.
For a great bulk of the populace this statement would be quite agreeable.
I submit that this is the most dangerous mindset prevalent today.
This is the opinion of a man who is well-trapped in a very insulated bubble, the likes of which he has no desire to ever peer out. Point by point:
“I like my health plan.”
Splendid. Works for you, then it works for everyone. And apparently pharmaceutical pricing in the U.S. is A-okay, too. After all, we are number one in the world in healthcare. Wait…
“You can’t tell me to pay off everyone’s student loans-I paid mine, it’s possible.” This guy’s 46. Same age as me. I know precisely what he paid in tuition: about a fourth of what it costs today. Students coming out of high school are getting royally steamrolled with no end in sight. All this with first-world countries across the globe offering free or extremely affordable tuition. Speaking of which, where do we rank in education?
“You can’t force me to drive an electric car-I refuse.”
Oh, a red herring. No major political figure is championing that idea, for obvious reasons. But… why the adamant refusal to drive an electric car?
“Our current choices are between a racist, narcissistic…”
He nailed this one.
“…and fairy tale, unicorn economics.”
Said even as we have real-world examples literally all around us that have incorporated progressive concepts espoused by a few presidential contenders, and have elevated themselves significantly higher than the U.S., be it in healthcare, education, cost of living, economic productivity, the environment, and/or the overall well-being of its citizens. Another red herring AND a false dichotomy. Nice.
Things he doesn’t mention: immigration. Why would he? He’s got no skin in the game; it’s not in his bubble. Race relations: same game. Our military and our interactions with the global community: also same game, and…’Murica.
I do, however, love a bit of irony, and we are smacked on the head with it with his last line: “sad and scary time.” Which brings me to my claim that this position is the most dangerous. MAGA hat-wearers: (A) they’re obvious, and (B) they’re dying out.
What’s not dying is our lack of critical thinking, which is this individual’s driving force behind his rationale. To many, this point of view seems, if not innocuous, at least not completely unreasonable. But think about where we are as a country, and I mean every facet. How did we get here? And if here, for you, is a good place, bear in mind there’s no such thing as static history. We’re going up or down. The fringe doesn’t drive that direction; it’s the masses. The insulated, semi-literate, comfortable, steadyin-the-boat masses. The above is what the masses could echo, if they don’t already.
A better education clearly is the best solution for a collective shift, which invites a focus on the Point Isabel School District, forthcoming.
Editor’s Note: Mike Hancock taught dual credit English courses at Port Isabel High School from 2013-2019. He abandoned his beloved tacos for a university post in China, where he’s working on a second novel, due out from Force Poseidon Books in 2021.