Saturday, December 1, 2018

For Shakespeare, Being Is Behaving

I'm getting tired of the truistic (my invented word) argument that Trump's golem-like behavior (sorry, that was an insult to golems) "taps into" some pre-existing anger and racism in the American psyche. "It has to be there first before it can be exploited," I hear, over and over, in various formulations. What does that mean? What has to be there first? The human capacity for evil? With this I agree, but it's no great discovery, or shouldn't be.* Evil isn't regional. The idea that there is some special pool of racism in the collective American heart, or in any heart, is dumb. There is naturally a human capacity to hate and fear other people who seem "different from us," and who seem likely to try to take something away from "us" (whoever "we" are). It's always been easy for some demagogue to get power by