The sad, lonely hyperindividualism of Trumpism

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Technically, he’s white.

Dear Rebecca:

I don’t think this is one of those blogs where we should post a paragraph of some other piece, then add “read the whole thing” at the end, but:

I’ve mentioned a few times around here about how Trumpist immigration enforcement disrupts communities more than it protects them. Elizabeth Bruenig makes a similar case in today’s Washington Post, but applies it to a broader array of Trumpist policies.

What unites workfare, the annihilation of DACA and the war on unions is a totalizing individualism — the belief that people are essentially isolated individuals. That we are alone before we are together. That we are more and not less ourselves in total isolation. From that view flow policies that disregard or deny that people are, in fact, embedded in families, communities and industries, and that their bonds and obligations are powerful and ought to be respected and protected by the state. No politics issuing from that view can ever cultivate unity.

What Trump offered as an answer to the aching aloneness of Americans was nationalism, the exchange of an imagined community for actual ones, the promise of a mystic bond with people you’ll never meet even while the ones you know and love are deported, abandoned, dying. It was supposed to bring us together, supposed to make us strong. But his policies stand to leave us more alone than we’ve ever been, and in our solitude, weak.

 Emphasis added. Read the whole thing.
— Joel

Author: joeldermole

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

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