Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Election | Lefsetz Letter

Trump is no fluke.

That’s what we learned as a result of the 2018 midterms. And that you can’t change anybody’s mind. You can get out the vote of your party, changing demographics can flip seats, egregious behavior can be penalized, but not in all cases, and states that are half and half can switch leaders. But it’s the same as it ever was, only we didn’t know it was this way, it took Trump to tell us so.

They were waiting for someone to harness their anger, who promised to flip the script, go back to where they once belonged, or at least believed they did, bring back mom and apple pie, along with a lot of racial hatred, but that was baked in anyway.

Then again, there are right wingers who are pissed I said that.

But the left should stop listening to them, the way the right stopped listening to the left.

I could go deeper, about defining the debate, playing the game, but I’m tuckered out. Agent Orange has been President for two years and what we’ve learned is he deserved to be. Sure, he lost the popular vote, sure the game is rigged, but under the rules as presently promulgated, he was victorious, and they’re not gonna change the rules.

And I could go all wonky on you, but the truth is the left never saw it coming. The results of globalization, the results of income inequality. The left did get a good job of getting out the vote, as did the right, but the underlying message was lost to those not fully aligned with its viewpoint. It was all about stopping Trump, in a country where so many love Trump.

Those on the left had hope, that it was just a bad nightmare, that the ship could be righted given another chance. But this does not seem to be the case. And it’s scary for Democrats, Roe v. Wade has already been limited in so many states, it’s going to get worse. And little progress will be made in a leftward push, despite controlling the House. It’s basically just a defense, and all the fun is in playing offense.

So now what.

Democrats should stop listening to Republicans the same way Republicans stopped listening to Democrats. Republicans have parlayed this fiction that we live in one big homogenous country, and therefore the Democrats should blink, should adjust, but that turns out to be hogwash, the country is divided, you’re on one team or the other, and the left should play to win, just like the right.

And what does this mean?

The left controls the culture. They should start throwing touchdowns irrelevant of right wing blowback. Rap lyrics, movie scenes, producers should do whatever they want, because there’s no way in hell they’re ever going to satiate the right other than to cave.

The future is based on culture. And even though the left thought they controlled it, it turns out they don’t. But they play music everywhere, and go to movies and watch Netflix… This is our stealth operation to change this country.

MTV purveyed racial integration and normalized homosexuality to the point that gay marriage was passed. That’s the power of art, that’s the power of a position. It takes years to make change, just like it took years for the Republicans to produce dividends from the Federalist Society.

In other words, forget those who are not on your team.

I know, I know, this does not fit with your kumbaya philosophy, where we all must get along, but we don’t.

Furthermore, tech is controlled by lefties, and everybody is ruled by tech, forget those without a cellphone, the ones who don’t go on the internet, there’s always a fringe whose story gets amplified way out of proportion, like those who believe they should get a front row seat at sticker price an hour before the show, or think cassettes are making a comeback. Don’t blink, that’s what we’ve learned.

There is no harmony.

We can’t all just get along.

But art has power. It’s hard to listen to rap and hate black people, and the sound of the youth is rap.

And films may be all about superheroes, but Netflix is not. Which is why an indie film should sell to a streaming service, not play in an art house, then you’re destined to obscurity. You only get to hype once in this world, so do it when and where it has the most effect, when people can experience your work.

So it’s a long game folks, a very long game. And those who grew up in the protest era can know that those days are through, snuffed, gone. We can’t build on the foundations of the sixties, because they’ve been eviscerated, but we can build a new edifice, it’s just got to look different.

There’s no protest because today’s music-makers were brought up in an era where Mariah Carey was the progenitor. It’s about melisma, it’s about fast cars and good times. It’s about lifestyle. But even if you create a protest song it can’t be heard, there’s too much cacophony.

So it’s depressing for an oldster. The state of the country. The Supreme Court. It’s finally the youth’s country.

But change happens on the sly, when you’re not paying attention. The color of this nation is changing, has changed, and that will have political effects. The cities lead, the country follows along. For a long time you had little media in the hinterlands, but now you’ve got plenty, and the parents may be watching “Gunsmoke,” but the kids are not.

And just like everybody moved to the city while we didn’t realize it, the fabric of this country can change while no one’s paying attention. But it’s not gonna happen fast, and it may not be recognizable, and people hate change.

But it’s coming.

Not only MAGA people, but the music business too. Remember all that anti-internet stuff, the anti-streaming stuff? There are still acts complaining, still wannabes complaining, wanting the old opportunities that have disappeared. But change is here to stay.

It flipped one way, it can flip back.

But not by trying to convince those on the other team they’re wrong, but by digging down deep and just doing your job.

Can we all stop paying attention to the news 24/7?

I hope so, then again, we’ve got a President who says he wants to end birthright citizenship when the Constitution says otherwise, and heinous hate crimes all over our country.

But please, stop listening to the other team. It may be in power now, but it has no future. Fox has lost all credibility now that Hannity has gotten on stage with Trump. But that proves the point, either you’re in or out, a believer or not, it makes no sense to rail against Fox if you’re not a believer, and it makes no sense to take crap if you watch MSNBC. We are a divided country. As bad as it was during the Vietnam era, only worse. Then we had strong unions, then we had a middle class, back when the mantra was we were all in it together, to love your brother.

Those days are through.


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