Tertullian famously asked, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Just because one protests a given influence does not necessarily mean there is no influence. A few weeks ago one writer suggested the angry vote really does not influence an election. Yesterday one poll indicated Donald Trump would defeat every Democratic candidate were the election yesterday.
Denying the influence of an angry electorate does not mean the relationship does not exist.
What does Guatemala City to do with Washington D.C.?
Jaun Montes reported in The Wall Street Journal, Comedian Wins First Round of Guatemalan Elections. He writes,
GUATEMALA CITY— Jimmy Morales, a comic actor who once played a blundering cowboy turned accidental president, won a surprise victory in the first round of Guatemala’s crowded presidential election, but didn’t secure enough votes to avoid an October runoff, results showed on Monday.
. . .
The stunning rise of Mr. Morales, a 46-year-old who barely registered in the polls earlier this year, reflects Guatemalans’ disaffection with politics as usual. He campaigned as a political outsider, with the slogan: “Neither corrupt nor a thief.”
Who can’t see the similarities? Disaffection is the new ideology, the new sublime.
Why Would Anyone Vote for a Virgin?
Somehow a lack of political experience makes a candidate pristine.
“The electorate has been searching for a political virgin, and that virgin is Jimmy Morales,” said Enrique “Quique” Godoy, an economist and prominent journalist.
Godoy’s analysis could well be applied to the current political climate in the U.S., at least among Republicans touting Trump as the straight talking, no nonsense candidate.
Despite questions of consistency, character, and competency, Trump’s Trumpists march on. When questions about particularities surface, what seems to matter more is that Trump provides an outlet for disaffection more than whether he is qualified. In this sense, disaffection becomes sublime in that it will move a person to transgress normal requirements for allegiance. For some of my Christian friends disaffection becomes the means for another to transgress moral law with our full support.
Is Trump Pro-Life or Pro-Choice? Is he for single payer health care or for the repeal of Obamacare? Is he a Republican or a closet(ed) Democrat? Is he for amnesty or limited amnesty? These issues that would normally rise to the level of disqualification appear moot in the face of disaffection.
You could say disaffection is the new virtue.
Trump the U.S. Version of Guatemala’s Comedian?
Surely his supporters do not think so. But denial does not necessarily mean a disconnection. Maybe what we witness in the United States and Guatemala, and other Countries for that matter, is really human disaffection with power as experienced heretofore. The problem is that whether it is Trump or Morales, the notion that a virgin candidate and a cadre of disaffected supporters would change things is problematic on its face.
Our experience would be more Animal Farm than American Revolution. Come to think of it . . . in a plutocracy maybe the one criticizes the other. If that is the case, why not admit to joining the Banana Republics? Not for a change of clothes mind you. But for a more accurate analysis of our situation.
Don’t Buy the New Ideology
Make no mistake. From where I sit we have more than twenty reasons to be disaffected. But, disaffection cannot be adopted as the new virtue. It cannot become the sublime that prompts us to transgress expectations of character, consistency, and competency. And, an insistence on avoiding a new ideology would require an evaluation of our allegiance to any candidate currently looking to stay in the race.