The pussy generation

Clint Eastwood is 86 years old, but still tough. Photo: Fanny Bouton via Wikimedia Commons
Clint Eastwood is 86 years old, but still tough. Photo: Fanny Bouton via Wikimedia Commons

I read an interview in Esquire where the actor Clint Eastwood referred to these times as “the pussy generation.” When I wrote this in Norwegian I felt I had to explain the word pussy, a word many Norwegians have learmed from films, where it often has a rather vulgar meaning. It has several denotations and this time it means weak or cowardly.

There are many things I strongly disagree with him about, but he also has some points. I recommend reading the original interview and not articles like the one in The Guardian with the headline Clint Eastwood defends Trump’s racist remarks: Just get over it. The actual interview doesn’t support that claim.

I agree with Eastwood about the get over it part, though. There is a lot of whining these days. Some of the worst behaviour you can show in 2016 is to say that you don’t like the lesbian, gay , bisexuals and transgender movement. People that say they don’t feel comfortable about men who identify as women when that suits them are concidered to be the most narrowminded people in history. This is in fact seen as such a big problem that we have to bully these bigots into following the crowd.

The refugee crisis is something similar. I don’t think the strong altruism we are seeing towards Syrians is a coincidence. Europe is facing a demographic crisis. The birth rate is so low here that the population would be dropping rapidly without immigration, and many were under the false impression that the level of education was very high in Syria. That meant we’d get qualified people we didn’t have to educate, so when a few of us pointed out the costs of having a large of amount of people that are not likely to work, the majority started whining about how heartless we were. Get over it!

The Americans created the politician Donald Trump, which is a big mystery, or is it? Trump appears to be the ultimate populist because he has no politics, no answers. You’d think that any populist that found himself in the situation Trump is in at the moment would at some point start putting together something that resembled an answer to some of the key questions. The fact that Trump hasn’t even attempted to do this makes it look like he never intended to win the nomination, that it was too hard to leave the race he was winning. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it would explain something.

Many are angry at Trump these days. but you can’t leave the voters and the Republican party off the hook. Trump may be an extreme populist, but all parties love populism. That’s what gets politicians elected. No one wants to listen to politicians talking about the boring details. They want entertainment and promises everyone knows it will be impossible to implement without support from political enemies.

It might be fair to let some of the anger many feel towards Trump be aimed at his party as well. The Republican Party, and not John McCain, seems to have chosen Sarah Palin as the candidate for Vice President eight years ago. Many people think it’s a frightening scenario to have Donald Trump as Commander-in-chief, but imagine if McCain won in 2008 and was forced to take a long sick leave. That would give the Tea Party movement a lot of influence. Does that reassure you? I don’t know why Republicans supported Trump, but it could simply be because the competition was too boring. Most presidents rely on populism to get elected and it is possible that the Republican Party didn’t stop Trump because he was the most entertaining, the one people llstened to.

Parties think a great deal about strategy and it is a mystery how they could choose Palin and Trump in subsequent elections. They practically handed Obama the victory eight years ago, and they may have done the same this time. It’s hard to see how Hillary Clinton can lose this. I think Bill Clinton is a bigger threat to his wife at the moment than Donald Trump, so if the former president stays in the background, Hillary Clinton will probably be the next president. I am not sure Trump is tearing his own party apart. They all seem to be doing that job together.

 

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