Monday, July 23, 2018

The Final Solution: Kierkegaard and Trump

Kierkegaard delineated three stages, the aesthetic, the ethical and the religious. The distinction holds true in our current world where discourse is disproportionately devoted to only one level on the great Danish philosopher's totem pole. The Trump phenomenon like an ill-smelling turd has dominated the senses in most enclosed spaces. Liberal-minded people, turned into mini Jobs, throw their hands up in horror. It’s a little like that famous movie The Gods Must Be Crazy where a Coke bottle falls from the sky. There’s no chance for conversations to get anywhere near the esthetic (unless you consider news a form of art), since the average democratic voter is trying to parry the latest assault on his ethical sensibilities. Whether it’s a supreme court nomination, a declaration that both Russia and the United States are to blame for what has gone wrong (a similar locution to what Trump said after Charlottesville where he allotted equal responsibility to both “sides” despite the violence and murder perpetrated by white suprematist protestors, "How Trump's Putin Summit Do-Over Mirrors His Charlottesville Response,HuffPost, 7/17/18)), or the president's war on NATO, not a day passes without some insult to the upholders of the old-fashioned notion of America as an exemplificatio of Enlightenment ideals. One benefit, of course, is that contentious relationships have been given a brief respite. People who might have had bones to pick with each other are united in their hatred and outrage over Trump. The bad news is that there is no chance to catch one’s breath and smell the roses before the president lets out his latest Tweet. 

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