Regarding Gentility (as seen on Facebook)

Facebook Friend:

It’s hard to understand how the educated, genteel, cultured, & principled Republicans I knew growing up can be comfortable in this era of Trump. Do you think that someday they will have had enough, & take a stand in opposition to this current permutation of the GOP?

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Me:

I think future shock has hit hard, all the social classes. The mystique of gentility started to unravel big time with Nixon I would say, as the impeachment hearings of that time were all about [expletive deleted]. People were still shocked presidents would talk that way, spewing invective.

I think of that movie Titanic, a flashback, bracketed by contemporary diver search team engineers, who swear and cuss, regardless of gender, in some ways more classless and democratic (egalitarian) than the tea cuppy Victorians in the rest of that movie. It’s like the “swearing sailor” types (Morlocks) took over from the genteel (Eloi) in public discourse in some ways, a phenom some label “tabloidization”.[1]

The spectator public has been educated to understand that the governing classes use crass expressions in some expert way we’re supposed to admire. Indeed I think Nixon had a crush on Las Vegas mafioso types, rat pack etc., not unlike Reagan. Prohibition helped turn the rich and powerful against the aristocratic? I’m swimming out of my depth perhaps.

[1] Eloi vs Morlocks from The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

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