Nobody will be surprised to hear that The Progressive Pugilist is a huge supporter of President Barack Obama. His insights on the American spirit as spelled out in his bestselling memoir The Audacity of Hope was stirring and compelling. But I have some sobering news that I need to share with everyone who has sense enough to see that we are in the midst of a culture clash and a culture crisis of epic proportions right now. The current state of our political affairs is graphic proof of the fact. The foundation of this clash and crisis is the role that merit plays in the lives of everyday people.
Many good people are hoping and praying and fighting and advocating for a society where everyone will be judged on their merit- their individual value as determined by their skill and achievements. Many others are fighting mad about their perception that they are not getting what they are entitled to by virtue of their birthright- by virtue of their nationality and citizenship status. In effect, right now we have a battle between Barack Obama’s Audacity of Hope and what I call the Power of Presumption as best represented by the words and deeds of Donald Trump. It is a stark contrast and the war between these ideologies is as bitter as it is consequential.
Although my political preferences are obvious, what is less obvious is the fact that I am coming out BIG for the Power of Presumption right now. Right now, the bad guys have captured it and the good guys need to co-opt it- like that magic ring in those Lord of the Rings movies. That concept can be channeled to amazing affect in the lives of individuals and can have a profound impact on an entire populous. Evidence abounds that a vain and vulgar leader like Donald Trump has no idea what he is channeling or how to use it for any purpose other than aggrandizing himself. But in the right hands, the power of presumption can get a person through nearly impossible situations where there was no objective reason for them or anybody else to believe that they could prevail. You wouldn’t know from this picture below, but that guy on the canvas is Sonny Liston and he was supposed to beat the brakes off of the guy standing over him- a man who no longer needs any introduction.
Ali rode his power of presumption to the top of his chosen profession first and went far beyond that, becoming an ambassador for peace and acceptance all over the world for the next 40 years. Or on the other end of the spectrum, you can ride the power of presumption to taking up arms against nature and taking down beautiful, powerful and majestic of God’s creatures that have done you no harm- like Trump’s asshole sons down here, Eric and Donald, Jr.- better known as Fuckface I and Fuckface II.
Let’s be clear: both of these are amazing feats for very different reasons. Both feats required channeling great power but the source of the power and the impact are radically different. My view is that right now, progressive minded and politically active Americans need to set the audacity of hope on a nice pedestal that we can admire from a distance while we head into battle with the power of presumption. In point of fact, Barack Obama actually became President Barack Obama because he channeled the later after the former had carried him as far as it could. In order to win big you absolutely must believe that victory is not only possible but ALREADY YOURS JUST WAITING TO BE CLAIMED.
I don’t want to make anybody sick to their stomach but Donald Trump’s ascendance to the presidency is a searing example of this power in its purest form. This man has no business being in the White House- seizing the mantle of America’s number one public servant who has never served another person or his country a single day in his life. But it is undeniable that once the race really got rolling, his sense of entitlement to the big chair powered him through a field of candidates who may have been superior to him in terms of qualifications but who were nowhere near as convinced as he was that they deserved to be there.
Progressives have to KNOW that our vision of America is the right one and we are GOING to win it over for the greater good- because we always have before and we will again. We deserve to win out and the other side deserves to lose because we are right and we are better Americans than they are. It is our national birthright.
The best part is when WE win, it is good for everybody. So in point of fact, when progressives win, America wins.