Opinion/Editorial
THE SPREAD PATTERN

I am waiting. You are waiting. The whole world is waiting. If nothing else, America has focused all the attention of this part of the universe on itself, and one man in particular. Not a man of the New Testament or Old. Not a man of philosophy or advanced education in any science. Not a man who’s worked his way up to success in this capitalistic system of supposed merit. I will not write what this man is from my own analysis and opinion. Instead, I will write about what you think you might expect from an individual human being that you’ve given the keys to the kingdom to, or worse, been forced to give the keys to the kingdom to.

What are women waiting for? What are Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, and homosexuals waiting for? What are people with college educations waiting for? What are White Supremacist’s waiting for? About all I, as a well traveled and educated anthropologist can tell you, is that all these waiting people are going to get a totally different package than they voted for, prayed for, wanted so badly or didn’t want at all. No one person can live up to the expectations of so many, especially when it comes to the changing of the very fabric of the culture from within which the changes must come.

If you think cultural change is quick and easy, then think about how few people change religions, or the sports teams they support. Statistically, it just does not happen. Changing the culture would involve changing belief systems, and those changes come about as quickly as changes do to the bottom blue ice of glaciers. Welcome to the country in which a man was voted in, handed an ice pick, and informed that his mission was to change the bottom of the glacier he allowed himself to be placed high atop. Forget global warming. America is about to embark on the coldest journey any group of humans ever existing on this planet has gone on.

In attempting to understand what is going to happen when Donald Trump is inaugurated into office later this month, possibly the best analogy is one of ballistics. Prior elections have sort of resembled shooting matches with high powered rifles. Metaphorically, consider the winner of each party’s primary as the aiming of those two rifles downrange at a pretty specifically defined target. That target has different areas of importance and relevance, forming like a big puzzle across it’s surface. Both ‘shooters’ do not get to fire. Only the winner of the national match gets to fire, once the okay is given (inauguration). In fact, the winner gets to fire at that small distant target a few times, hitting pieces of various importance, and by doing so scoring points with a waiting audience (the population of the USA). Donald Trump is to be inaugurated. He’s won. But the weapon he’s chosen, or been pre-ordained to fire, is not a high powered rifle. It’s a shotgun firing double aught buckshot. And the target he’s firing at will allow the nine thirty caliber pellets to spread out into a pattern about fifty feet wide and tall. Trump is going to begin firing his shotgun at the normal target such anointed leaders get to shoot at (the cultural areas of societal concern), with a weapon that’s constructed in such a way to make it impossible to tell where the projectiles are gong to hit, once they travel far enough down range.

Some of the areas of societal concern that are about to be shot at have been discussed over the years to the point of near boredom, like Social Security and Medicare. Veteran’s problems of post-conflict care are, included there. So is religious freedom, and defining what it means to be a citizen of this country. The use of nuclear weapons is, amazingly enough, also back on the target. The concept of having minimum wages set in most states, union formation and participation, working weekends and even child labor, are all parts of the new target Mr. Trump will be firing at, with his weapon that is beyond aiming.

The main body of the citizenry generally has to be considered when making extreme changes to the cultural fabric. For changes to be made by representational government officials, however, that is not true. For facing the results up to and including the very survival of the social order, though, it is very true. In ‘throwing the dice down the table of life’ in this last election, did the main body of the American public really consider what it would be like to live in a country where all those things listed as being on that metaphorical target were there no more? Taking the country back to a time like 1850, when there were no governmental managed social programs or assisted living, and no rules about work, pay or employment, requires some deep thought. The average life expectancy was just over 38 years. That’s right, you could expect to die on your 38th birthday. The average height for a human was five foot five. Laborers worked sixty hours per week for a wage of about a hundred and fifty dollars in today’s money, while even a doctor only made about two-fifty. Yes, that’s today’s money. People, including professionals, were mostly poor by any standard of then or now. People didn’t need Social Security or Medicare because they were dead. The wealthy were still the wealthy, like they are today. That part has not changed.

Is the main body of the American culture really ready to endure a return to times of such extended, and ongoing agony and misery? Has this main body of America’s population been somehow convinced that the advances of civilization are in fact bad for their comfort, and even continuance in life?

Nobody, including Mr. Trump, has much of an idea of what is going to happen after the inauguration, but it can be pretty well assumed that when Mr. Trump starts firing his metaphorical shotgun that the spread pattern of his discharged projectiles are not going to hit metaphorical targets. When you pray to God for strength be careful. God may give you more problems so that you can gain strength by handling them. When you pray for change, God may very well give you pain as part of the process.

How much pain has America knelt down and prayed for?

We are all about to find out.

~ James Strauss

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