Russell Brand: wise sage?
As it turns out, yes.
Listen to him–rather than get caught up in what you may think you know of the English comedian/actor with an unfettered biography of overcoming drug and sexual addiction–to glimpse him in this role, and perhaps to learn something while you’re at it.
Listening to him isn’t that hard. Brand’s intelligence, humor and honesty are anything but boring.
The hard part comes when we consider what he says, just as he did shortly after America’s coronation of its first Theocracy, i.e. the less-than-majority Presidential victory of Donald Trump and continued GOP control over Congress.
“The fact that Donald Trump is president of the United States is, sort of, not what’s important,” Brand said. “What’s important is the conditions that have occurred that Donald Trump becomes (the president).”
Brand correctly correlated widespread disenchantment both in his native England with Brexit and now in America with the election of Trump.
For five minutes of rapid-fire commentary, Brand lays out his case that the growing, educated, progressive majority has failed to understand those with whom they don’t align.
Or perhaps it’s as simple as my son often tells me, “I can’t stand how superior you elites act.”
Don’t get my wrong, my son loves me and we have wonderful, open talks about politics and social issues. He is a non-religious progressive on most social issues who is fiscally conservative and stridently pro-small government. He once voted for President Obama but now feels alienated. “Hope and change” to him, was the first political let down of his adult life.
Brand uses similar language, but from the perspective of a progressive insider. We have no idea how we’ve alienated those who have now kicked us from the halls of power in two of the world’s most powerful economies, he asserts.
Facts back him up. The “superior” hubris of the Democratic leadership continues to haunt this country. After voters looked to them for leadership in 2006, they spent two years doing nothing but trying to destroy the GOP. After progressives stormed behind an unknown named Bernie Sanders ten years later, the Clinton campaign never stepped foot into key Rust Belt states Sanders won, even after both Trump and Michael Moore said she would lose right there.
Our arrogance is destroying this country as much as the fact-deprived, right-wing proliferation of political spin regarding taxation, climate change and the economy. We can look down our nose at people who still deny global warming and believe the nonsense coming from Fox News, but they now control the government.
Thankfully, Brand as wise sage doesn’t just wax philosophical about these trends. He offers a clear path to a solution, one that is very, very hard to follow. I know this because for the last two years I tried to do it way more often than I tried to elevate my political agenda.
“Lets try and reach out and understand why someone feels like this and be loving and not be presumptuous,” he says.
And more to the point: “We have to create a world where a Donald Trump is not necessary… we have to change the way we treat each other.”
I believe this is as close to my personal “mission” as anything I do. But now, after the rise of a Theocracy that had no interest in conversation or listening for the entire eight years of the Obama presidency, after the election of a President who routinely uses abusive language, incites hate, condones and participates in the abuse of women, and who has a near pathological bent toward lies—after this election–I will listen while I actively resist this agenda of an American Theocracy.
This is anything but easy. Listening is decidedly not easy. Loving is nearly impossible. Resisting can be dangerous and disruptive. But this is my calling. I hope it will be yours too, so we can “create a world where Donald Trump is not necessary.”