President of the Selfies

President of the Selfies by James Howard Kunstler

TDC Note – My wife and mother both loath Trump. They hate women politicians more than they hate Trump. I’d bet a lot of women feel this way.

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Unlike the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren doesn’t radiate contempt, loathing, and horror at the task of mingling with the hoi polloi. Rather, she has become famous for staging lengthy sessions after campaign speeches to pose for selfies with her fans. The selfie-seekers, you will notice, are all women. It’s heartwarming as all get out. This is at the center of Senator Warren’s strategy for winning the next election: to cadge all of the women’s vote and become the President of all the women of the United States.

It’s a shrewd strategy, to turn the election into a gender-bonding contest, but elections have turned on equally fatuous premises, probably more often than not. Paradoxically, the lumbering President Trump, with his bay window belly, mystifying bouffant, fourth-grade vocabulary, and grab-them-by-the-pussy approach to romance, scored 53 percent of women’s votes last time around. Perhaps that was more a reflection of his opponent’s titanic loathsomeness than of Mr. Trump’s charms. But it only underscores Ms. Warren’s gambit: all she has to do is swing a generous majority of American women over to her side.

She is, in many ways, an exemplar of her sex.  She’s made the best of her corn-fed Oklahoma looks. At 69, she capers energetically around the hustings in spanx and Nina McLemore jewel-toned, popped-collar jackets as though she were America’s yoga instructor, an appealing addition to her previous career as a distinguished Harvard law professor. She scores well on the feelings and sharing index, qualities that most men can only caricature. (Claiming to be a Cherokee was a forgivable way of sharing — sharing useful identities for career advancement.) And she has a palpable edge of anger about all the swindles and injustices in American life today, especially those spawned on Wall Street by the financial patriarchy — hey, who can argue with that one? If she has a husband (she has, Harvard law prof Bruce H. Mann) he might as well be hiding under a rock.

Ms. Warren’s big sell at this point in the campaign is Medicare for all, nationalized single-payer health care. The appeal is obvious: for one thing, other civilized countries manage to provide it for their citizens. And despite the counter-claims that “people like their health insurance,” the world has probably never seen such a pitiless, odious racket as the current system in the USA. Ask the schnooks forced to take their kids to the emergency room who end up stuck with bills for $6000 for a few stitches. Ms. Warren proposes a new system that would turn medicine into something more like the motor vehicle bureau with doctors — if you could find any doctors who would willingly sign on, which I doubt. And, of course, because it evokes such strong feelings of maternal sympathy, Ms. Warren also avidly raised her hand to support free health care for illegal immigrants, too, as a companion piece to the Democrats’ open borders policy.

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James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” Home From Nowhere was a continuation of that discussion with an emphasis on the remedies. A portion of it appeared as the cover story in the September 1996 Atlantic Monthly. His next book in the series, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, published by Simon & Schuster / Free Press, is a look a wide-ranging look at cities here and abroad, an inquiry into what makes them great (or miserable), and in particular what America is going to do with it’s mutilated cities.