I am admittedly a pessimist (or a realist) but as I ponder the choice of Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor, a man who doesn't even have to be confirmed by Congress, I imagine World War III must be the goal, or at least an all-out Samuel Huntington style "clash of civilizations" war against Islam--and given more than a billion Muslims, how is that not a world war? I saw in The New York Times that Flynn thinks Islam (not radical Islam but Islam itself) is a "malignant cancer," calls Islamic militancy a "global" and "existential" threat, and argues that Islam is an "ideology" not a religion. I frankly don't think it's overreacting to be worried.
I wondered: what could be worse than what Bush II managed? He gifted us with a disastrous war in Iraq and global economic meltdown. How could it get worse? Now that Bush and his cronies are starting to look like moderate centrists, how could Trump top him? What's left?
It came to me: World War III. These guys are so testosterone laden you know that if they get us into a war, they're going to lob nuclear bombs: let's just hope it's limited.
Let's hope they don't blow us back to the stone age. What do you think? Odds? The fun ends for them too when that happens, so maybe we have hope ...
In yoga class, we woman discussed all the young men we know either in the army, or with strong army "buds," who voted for Trump. I thought of my son's friend from Olney Friends School, Yuxi, who joined the army to gain US citizenship (ironic, as he is the graduate of a Quaker school) and came to visit us this spring. He said everyone but everyone on his army base was crazy for Trump, so he too was going to vote for Trump too. My nephew in the National Guard, normally a highly sane person, was all Trump all the time. My Quaker yoga teacher's Quaker raised son was all set to vote Trump under the influence of his oil rig buddies: it's not clear, however, that he was registered to vote. And the stories go on.
My epiphany hit, naturally a sudden bolt of revelation. The election, I realized, was the ultimate gender battle. The mommy/school marm archetype who wasn't going to let the boys play with guns, or have any fun, faced off against the chest-banging savage (apologies to savages everywhere) who was all about "c'mon guys, let's hunt us some Orc!!"
It's come clear: anybody but "Aunt Polly" Clinton would have stood a chance (except maybe Elizabeth Warren). An All-American Tom Sawyer drama played out, only this one with far, far more insidious overtones.
We should--we really should--have run Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden. As a woman who would have loved to see a woman elected, I hate to say that.
But we really weren't ready for a woman president. The guys wouldn't have it. Nor would many of the gals. She's "coming for our guns" had a deeper resonance that we knew. She might make us do our homework too.
|"Aunt Polly" Clinton. I voted for her, but it wasn't going to happen.|
The men voted for someone in the John Elredge mode, whose publisher described his book Wild at Heart as follows:
"A formidable answer to an age-old question: How can a man make himself tolerable and useful while accepting and expressing his primordial maleness--the searching and aggressive urges to conquer what needs subduing, protect the vulnerable, fix what is broken, compete and risk what demands to be risked in himself and the world? The author’s message is set in the Christian tradition without being controlled by its ideology. Eldredge believes that institutions can oppress a man’s heart and keep society from benefiting from his fierce desire to love, do good, fight evil, and go beyond the limits."
Trump clearly appealed to that.
|He signaled he'd take care of her.|
Of course, as Christianity Today put it,
"Far from revealing the vigor of the Almighty, Eldredge removes it… . Eldredge has employed the reverse of John the Baptist's axiom: In order for men to increase, God must decrease."
But plenty of evangelicals voted for Trump.
So now we are faced with the possibility of World War III.
I want to believe there's going to be a good outcome to all this. I remember after 9/11, when I had to face, sadly, that it was the work of Middle Eastern terrorists, that we'd have to lob a few bombs on someone, probably Afghanistan. I comforted myself that we would drop a few bombs and go home, having made our statement.
How wrong I was. So now I fear my own optimism: Maybe we won't have a major war.
But, on the other hand, I do believe in miracles and if there ever were a moment ... . What do you think?