Friday, May 6, 2016

Bellwether or Outlier?

Image result for outlierThere is this odd appeal to me about the rise of Donald Trump as a real voting option.  Before Comments get deluged, I disavow building a wall, turning in my undocumented foreigner patients for deportation, keeping some rather decent young Islamic physicians from entering the USA to join our residency program, and assessing the qualifications of women by what their face looks like.  Those things capture attention for further exploration as being provocative, though maybe they should shut the door instead.  But what The Donald has done that I find refreshing in a way is capture some very real dissatisfaction.  He claims to be a winner, but the vast majority of superficial winners, our medical leadership, our insurance executives who impede my mission as a physician, our Federation Types who too often corrupt the essence my religious faith, those title pursuers and those with the facade of amiability who really stand for what is convenient at the moment, they all band together to make an iconoclastic message of redemption attractive.  In my medical world, which has become the focus of my being, the people who could make being a doctor great again saluting directives from above that they should be resisting.  When I attend shul on shabbos I'm not engaged.  There are places that have reached the promised land of institutionalized mediocrity that rationalize their circumstances while expressing hostility to any potential upgrade that challenges their comfort.  This is widespread, widely accepted as a punch ticket for advancement, and with a paucity of resistance to what any end user knows to be harmful over time.

So will Donald really Make America Great Again or make being a doctor great again, or make the wall in China great again?  Even if he could, the expressed approach seems sufficiently abhorrent to deter the electorate from accepting what is being proposed.  What he has done perhaps is revisit the Pesach message, that what we have is not really what we deserve.  There no shortage of people who buy into that, myself among them, but like the Pesach message, we need to be harmed  first before we are motivated to take bold action, and even then we have some very legitimate concerns the negative consequences that come with making a statement.

So are the Trump supporters the Bellwethers or the Outliers?  Or is a person like myself, professionally oppressed like most of my clinician colleagues who once knew something better or a fundamentally Conservative mindset Jew who migrated from the movement as it plunged to mediocrity through its own leadership, that Navi who distinguishes what is from what should be?

If we learned anything from our recent political experience, there may be quite a few people lurking around who wish their experience was better than it has been.

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