Local Commentary

A Post-Trumpean New Morality

To whatever degree it is appreciated now, the November 2020 election will go down in history as a great referendum on morality. It is caused to be such by the extreme immorality of our current president. While there are some who claim they support him solely on the basis of issues he supports, to the vast majority of us the extreme flaws in his character, his personality, his way of behaving toward others, his chronic lying and bullying are so repugnant that they calls out of us a passion to affirm a commitment to all the basic human values that he lacks and repudiates.

So the developing tsunami rising to reject this sorry excuse for a man is almost by definition doing so on the basis of a new morality, or at least the potential for one to unfold in its wake. Here comes a real opportunity.

It’s not esoteric at all. On the contrary, it is based on all the things we thought we stood for, anyway, but have not been aware have been eroding and diminishing at an accelerating rate in recent years.

Things like basic decency, courtesy, honorable behavior, compassion and empathy have been on the decline for some time in America, which is what allowed for a degenerate type like Trump to rise on the dirty foam refuse of postmodernist nihilism and angry selfishness.

If you are not familiar with postmodernism, it is the philosophical-cultural movement of the anti-New Deal era. It was invoked in the darkened bowels of the anarcho-fascism that swept the Naziis and their ilk into power, ruling by terror, repudiating science and the kind of Renaissance-Enlightenment values that were the bedrock of the American revolution and the advance of democracy.

Postmodernism is an angry rejection of all that democracy is grounded in, in the values associated with generosity of spirit, and a desire for the universal gains among all peoples. It says that love is a fiction and that only pleasure and power exist in the real world. Perpetrators of anti-democratic systems fund and elevate foul voices of postmodernism in academia and the social sciences to flummox value systems grounded in decency, honesty and shared aspirations to the good.

Postmodernism gets mixed up with notions of individuality and anti-authoritarian creativity, but at its core it defines the system that produced Donald Trump, modern, anger-laden white supremacist cults and their ilk.

The morality to defeat this toxic stain on our culture is not hard to fathom. It needs only a resolve to stand up to its raging, bullying style and to assert with confidence the ageless virtues of decency and character. It doesn’t need belief systems beyond itself especially if they may tend to cause a deviation from its own core sentiment. But they often are linked to long-standing mainstream traditions that affirm the beneficent values and designs of the universe and of ultimate things themselves.