Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Political Ignorance in a Trump Universe

The ignorance in this last 2016 presidential election on the side of Hillary Clinton supporters is superseded only by that of Donald Trump supporters. It is reminiscent in form of the quote by Winston Churchill.

'Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…'
Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947

I'll get to Pres. Trump's address to both houses of Congress, in a moment.

For many Clinton supporters who have been around a while, they saw this as her time to become president as after all she had put up with, succeeded through, and done they felt she deserved it. And they deserved it to have a woman president. It was time for a woman president. We are long past that time. It needs to happen. Just not apparently with Hillary. Sad for her, but true nonetheless after to failed runs for that office.

However Mr. Trump should never have been a candidate. That is clearly obvious now even as it was for most people during the campaign.

In hindsight we can now see what I had thought all along during the campaign. That yes, Hillary had paid her dues to become president, all through husband Bill Clinton's rise, campaign, two term presidency and all throughout his romantic antics. Also through her work in Congress and as Secretary of State under the opponent, Barack Obama, whom she had lost to not once but in the end, twice.

However as we now examine our actions and how things turned out, we can see more clearly that as some contended during the campaign, Bernie Sanders could very well have won over Donald Trump. I had said and wished that Hillary would have subordinated herself to become Bernie's Vice President on the ticket to his Presidency.

I still think that would have been a world changing event.

Not a Trump style world changing event, but a positive, useful and constructive one. With Hillary as VP, someone who had been through all she had internationally to the point of Secretary of State, what a block buster team that could have been. Perhaps she could then have run at a future date as President. Perhaps it was simply never to be.

In looking now at the world and the state of American politics, it seems clear that we should all have put aside our beliefs and desires, and gone with a Bernie/Hillary ticket and not a Clinton/Bernie ticket, and certainly not as it turned out, a Clinton ticket up against some nutcase like now Pres. Trump. I said that before many times but no one would listen, that surely she would sadly never take second to a Bernie Sanders.

Very sadly as we now see.

We don't realize the advancements we've made. Some say the IQ has dropped. But I think more importantly what we're seeing is a better educated citizen, smarter people, who aren't yet smart enough. And Republicans always want to cut education. Makes you wonder. And I won't even go into things like cognitive dissonance here.

Read: 7 Things Our Founders Believed about Public Education

These people are smart enough to know there is someone behind the curtain, but then think it's the Illuminati (which always surprises them when you tell them that), or some ridiculous entity, or that this is as deep as it goes and no others are involved, or no other process, entity or entropy is involved.

What I've seen, mostly to be honest on the conservative side (liberals have another issue altogether), is that they are smart enough to see they need to break things down somewhat in order to see what there is and where the problem is.

While a wise person knows when you stop doing that and you have the answer. OR, that you cannot achieve a viable answer from any known information at the time.

Still some will push over the edge into what many call insanity, but is simply drawing conclusions with too little information, or never drawing a conclusion other than the one they have already drawn and which all too frequently turns out to be totally incorrect, once all the information is finally known.

Which almost always does eventually show up.

And so we find those who we offer the solutions to for things and yet they refuse to accept it, in thinking they are that smart as to be able to literally divine the answer from not enough correct information. When frequently it is answers they need and not just one. And so it goes, on and on.

And so too, to most critical thinking people they appear stupid.

But they are not stupid. They are simply not intelligent (or educated) enough. Basically and to put it simply, they know just enough to get themselves and others into real trouble and to look foolish.

Therein lay the Republican party.

One of my favorite people for many years has been Christopher Hitchens who sadly died of cancer in December of 2011. In considering what he thought about Hillary, he would have preferred to have seen her not even run for president. But she did not run in a vacuum. She was against Trump.

I have to believe that he would have seen her as President a far better thing for the world than a Trump administration as we have now and as we're seeing is highly dysfunctional and frequently clueless, self serving, and at times outright dangerous.

Charlie Rose on February 24, 2017 had a segment of his show about Chris asking his wife and friends how he would see things today if he were still alive. There is also an article by Newsweek titled, "What would Christoper Hitchens Write?" (1/2/16)

What Chris might have said may all well be true. However he didn't see her having to run for president against not a Barack Obama, a figure who cut a graceful Fred Astaire profile in form and mind, but a Donald Trump figure who cuts more of an Alfred Hitchcock profile though with little of the grace and intellect and none of the style.

Pres. Trump has  a flabbiness of mind exceeded only by his inflated ego, overt narcissism, greed and questionable mental health. He is not insane as some claim but is a capitalist and narcissist and I'm sure other terms of dysfunction we will be seeing and hearing of in the near future. If he makes it that far.

Chris called out Todd Purdum's view of Hillary Clinton and her husband. Yes, there are many things to be said about all that. Which brings us then back to Pres. Donald Trump. There is little need to lay out the issues we are now seeing with him as President of the United States of America. He is a travesty pure and simple and if you cannot yet see that, you simply don't want to. There is no comparison between the two. One is a work horse, one is Donald Trump. One may have an agenda that would have been poignantly put into place, one is scattered and a novice or worse at executing his skewed and admittedly deconstructive agenda.

Even with all the things we know about Hillary, we would still today be far better off with her than a Donald Trump as president. Both Hillary and Trump have as politicians do, deluded their supporters. Trump simply had a far easier job of it with his. As could be seen in many fact checks during the election campaign up to today, Hillary showed far more truth in her statements than Trump ever did or again, even as he does today.

I won't even go into the Republican, Conservative, and Russian slander against Hillary going back to the 1990s. A grass roots hatred of a candidate that deserved that hatred far less than did her opponent in Trump in deserving his praise by those who have found they need to translate in their heads, what he is saying, because he is frequently not saying anything coherent. And reading into what the president says is a highly, extremely dangerous thing to do, and to have to do.

Frankly, Trump supporters were far more easily duped to the point that we now have him as POTUS. Something that will plague not only America, but the entire world, not to mention benefit Russia and perhaps China, for a very long time after he leaves the world stage.

To be fair to Trump supporters, they voted for him not out of intelligence and information, but out of anger and frustration at our government. It has indeed been entrenched for decades now in a style of government that desperately needed change and repair. Much of  that repair being needed for Republicans working hard to damage the government.

Thinking to elect a disruptor, someone to shake up the government and not just another status quo candidate, Trump is most definitely now disrupting things.

However he has consistently and blatantly lied to us, damaged our government's standing with our citizens and even more so with other countries around the entire planet. Good things will come of his presidency, of that I have no doubt. But in the same way as a broken leg is stronger at the break than it was before it was broken. However that also weakens the areas on either side of that break.

Things like government and in such a big and powerful country as the US, needs care not damage to fix things. Of that few gave much consideration out of their frustration at being promised change for so long and seldom seeing it. Or simply not seeing it as fast as change happens on reality TV shows.

I get that. We all do. But a child throwing a tantrum in a shopping mall merely evokes a parent to do whatever they can do stop the tantrum. Not necessarily at all doing what really needs to be done.

Yes, a good parent will do what is needed, and not just what is required to assuage the child. Trump however is not a good parent. Pointing to his children raised by wives and not him, is not proof of anything other than to show that he knows how to marry multiple women and have them raise his kids. Not to mention, those children do have problems as we're now seeing. First off, they're all capitalists. And too rich to really see clearly what most Americans are living through.

When Republicans say "affordable" healthcare, or what American's can afford, or for them to pay reasonable healthcare costs, they have no clue that is a code word for too expensive. My healthcare now that I'm retired is one third of my income. One Third. That's just to have healthcare coverage and not even considering out of pocket expenses.

As for Ivanka, I personally have issues with anyone who chooses on their own to convert to any religion, let alone one like Judaism which is convoluted and rather silly like so many religions. Especially those desert religions of the Middle East which evolved out of a one time need and have evolved into a religion of the obfuscations of reality.

But then, that's what religions do. Make the fears of living more palatable. Offer up hope. When reality should do that if we would just let it. But that really isn't the point either. The point is, Trump is now president. Two words that should never have ever come into the public consciousness: President Trump.

Just how politically ignorant can we be to have allowed such a thing to take place?

Obviously. Pretty damn ignorant. But mostly just frustration.

I have never been so embarrassed to be an American as I was the day Trump was elected. I was pretty embarrassed by the Nixon debacle in the early 1970s as a kid in High School. I was embarrassed by Gore losing to Bush in 2000 and that debacle. I was more embarrassed with the false war in Iraq and then George W Bush being unbelievably re-elected in 2004 at which time I simply gave up on the American people for a time until Obama was elected.

But nothing trumps America electing a Donald Trump as president.


Speaking of political ignorance, Pres. Trump's speech last night on February 28, 2017. He spoke through his teleprompters, made it mostly through the speech with only a single break where he almost turned into The Donald again, but caught himself and returned to reading Steven Miller's curious speech.

photo from CNN

The ONE thing I'd have liked to see last night from a President who says he wants to bring people together... A nod at Republican's for their eight years of obstructionism, now that they ARE in power, for them also to work with Democrats. To have put that ALL on Democrats was ludicrous.

I wouldn't have half minded the several other negative nods at Democrats about that then.

But when it was mostly Republicans refusing to work for America through eight years, it screamed for equal time to both parties last night to do something constructive together, especially for the Republicans and even more so.

Mr. Trump's creating the Voice agency to point out immigrant illegal activities brought a hush of fear over the Congress for a moment, then a few Republicans clapped. It is not as he said to support victims but to further his contentions about immigrant abuse of Americans. A sad commentary on the Trump administration.

Highlights of Pres. Trump's speech if you missed it (go here for a more professional account):

-Various fluff, chaff and misdirections
-Magical promises.
-He's great!
-Republicans rock!
-Immigrants are dangerous! To the point of their creating Voice agency to publish list of crimes by immigrants. The President claimed that murders were being kept quiet by 'special interests']
-Democrats suck because they are partisan and they need to work with Republicans. Republicans apparently are doing just great on that point!
-ACA ("Obamacare") is giving people cancer or something and needs to be exorcised from American consciousness for the great plan Republicans are going to put in place, if only Democrats and the American people would get out of their way and let them implement whatever it is they may come up with if they can only think up something and by the way, NO ONE KNEW that healthcare reform was so hard.
-Display a woman who was in a wheelchair and an inspiration.
-Display the wife of the Navy SEAL the president sent into harm's way with too little planning and who died on the mission, leading to an emotionally rousing and very long standing ovation.
-Other stuff.

It's going to be a very, very long four years....

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