NOW WE ARE FRAIL

To say this political year in the U.S. has been upsetting hardly begins to cover the range of emotions it has engendered. Beyond these borders, the world has gone from its usual level of whacked to incomprehensible, at least to me.

I’m personally suffering from “mad bomber overload” among many other maladies that as yet don’t have a name, but the one that pains me the most is watching the American political system blow itself up.

apathy quote

To say I’m not a Trump supporter doesn’t come close to how I feel. There’s a curious silence too about Trump, this clown and poseur. Most of what’s been said has been by late night comedians. Where’s the rest of the commentary?

Where are the editorials? The political analysis? Historians, and college professors. Where are the scholars taking up cudgels in defense of our integrity? Why are they silent in the face of this assault on our constitutional republican government?

CapitolBuilding

TV networks are obviously afraid … but of who and why? Have they been threatened? Blackmailed? I’m not sure what they are afraid of, but they are obviously scared. What good is a free press that’s got its collective jaws wired shut?

Newspapers? I know they don’t have the clout they once did, but wouldn’t this be a good time to show us how important they can be? Why we need them?

What happened to Hillary? For an intelligent, well-educated, long-term political animal, she has so flunked this campaign, it stopped being humorous months ago. I like Hillary, but at every turn, she’s made awful choices. Her campaign has been a disaster.

tyranny and oppression - madisonAll politicians lie all the time. If you don’t think they do, then you’re suffering from a lethal case of naiveté. You have the excuse of being a civilian … but what’s Hillary’s excuse? She’s been in politics since she got out of Wellesley. She’s seen them rise, seen them fall, been there from the early days in Arkansas through 8 years in DC with Bill. In the senate and as Secretary of State. That’s a lot of politics.

And hey there, Bill? Are you trying to finish Hillary off? What was that “runway meeting”? You mean to say you didn’t know how that was going to look? No one could accuse you of being politically naïve.

I’m going to vote for Hillary despite everything because I could not vote for Donald Trump even with a gun to my head.

As for Trump: we have a candidate who tells the world the police shootings in Louisiana are the fault of President Obama (I can’t even figure out how you can make that connection … ) and whose “running mate” is an anti-woman moron who tells the world Hillary Clinton invented ISIS. I know he said it because we watched him say it on network television last night. I wanted to barf. This is not a choice.

I thought our government was tough. We’ve had dreadful presidents in the past and survived. Obviously we’re going to have at least one more coming right up. I thought we could survive the stupidity of our electorate … but now I’m unsure.

theodore-roosevelt-25-10-22

Some of our worst presidents have been good people and some of our most effective presidents have been complicated people who did not bear close examination. Being a great leader and being a good person are not the same thing. Jimmy Carter, as an example, was a bad president, but he’s a great guy. Lyndon Johnson was a great president, but a flawed human being. Me, I’d always prefer Lyndon because he got stuff done. Vital stuff. He moved the country forward.

How fragile are we? The Republican convention starts today. Let the games begin. Thrills and chills and just the future of the world on the line, so no worries, mate.

THE DAILY POST | FRAIL



Categories: American history, Government, perspective, Politics

Tags: , , , , , , ,

54 replies

  1. Great piece! I think this post really helps detox the naive optimism many voters have about the political system. I really loved the quotes that you laced throughout the post! I look forward to more pieces from you!

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    • Thanks. I appreciate the positive feedback. The problem is I feel like I’m preaching to the choir. The people who like and read this are people who already agree with it. I often wonder if anyone ever really changes their mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a great point! I agree – most people are just looking for confirmation.

        But I think it is a spectrum. The people who like and read this work may be people who completely agree, or they may only have a faint understanding and slight leaning toward your position. That is the value: persuading people who are on the fence and in danger of defaulting to the typical mainstream idea. We may not be able to convert people at the extremes – but there are a bunch of people in the middle that you are reaching to various degrees.

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  2. I agree with you that there was a silence about Trump during the primaries. I believe that was because no one thought he would ever win it….but the closer and closer he got the more the media started to attack him. Yet it seemed that the criticism just fueled Trumps numbers because republicans have a distrust of the media.

    Now that Trump has the nomination the media is coming at him with everything. I have written about Trump and his failure at a blog i write for. I am not a fan of Hillary either, in fact I am leaning towards Gary Johnson but I really don’t like any of the options at this moment so I might just skip voting for president and just focus on the senate and house seats.

    To answer your question I believe that this country is very fragile and this election could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back

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    • I think we should be less concerned with whether we like the candidate and more focused on what she will actually be able to accomplish. The most effective president we’ve had since WW II was LBJ and he was no more honest or likeable than he had to be, but he was effective and dedicated to getting important legislation passed. I’m fed up with the “we need an outside” bullshit. We don’t need more outsiders. They don’t know how to get anything done and worse, have no political capital to call on. Legislation isn’t done by the president. It’s done be a lot of people reaching across the aisle and working for the good of the whole country. And it helps if they know how the game is played and are good at playing it.

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  3. Hi Marilyn,
    Great article. With the hindsight that an extra month has provided, I think we are seeing Republican lawmakers and policymakers finally speaking out against Donald Trump. This is what you would expect from a nation like our’s: the level-headed voices to speak up and say “this guy isn’t what we are about.” Unfortunately, he is what many voters are about and I think that is where we see the intended or unintended consequences of the system we created in the 1990s: under-educated voters, ruled more by their emotions than their logic, who cannot or choose not to think through their ideas.
    The last thing I would say about the people actually voting and engaging in the system is that they are apathetic, as Montesquieu suggests above. But the people who are choosing to sit out, of course, are by definition are mired in apathy.
    More and more voters are stuck in that same “Never ClinTrump” world you describe. I would suggest at this point that many are looking at third party alternatives. I discuss this a bit at http://www.jarroddumas.com in the following post:
    https://jarrodpauldumas.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/libertarians-trumping-the-donald/

    Let me know what you think. Again, great writing!

    Like

    • I had to go read your post before answering. You comment is very on point. I’m tired of trying to point out that Hillary Clinton is not the witch as whom has been portrayed. It really IS a witch hunt, especially because if anyone put those same resources into looking into all the cupboards of any candidate for high office in this country, I’m sure they’d find as much or more and worse. How come we don’t see revelations about Trump’s private emails? Wiki-leaks looks more and more like an organization of paid assassins.

      I’ve been looking for political material (with which I agree because I’m NOT a neutral party) to post or re-post here. I don’t want to write everything myself. I want other voices and also, I don’t want to be a political blogger. At least not all the time.

      I have space for well-written material you’ve written. I’m not sure if this particular article is what I want. I’m not convinced the splintering of the two-party system is more than a sidebar to this year’s horror story. Our system has splintered many times before and I’m sure it will again (and again). The political landscape rearranges itself regularly. I think it’s a sign of health. In this case, more worrying is the nature of the emerging movement which looks — to me — like fascism with an American accent. Call me crazy, but I see shadows of Jim Jones and Adolf Hitler behind Trump. THAT worries me more than I can say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well said.
        I think that time will tell to what extent the two-party system is splintering. Certainly, this latest version of that fracture started with Pres. Obama’s election and the advent of the Tea Party movement. While it is not as pronounced at this time, the influence of the Tea Party on Republican politics is clear. I think, right now at this moment, there is a real and genuine rift between people who support someone like Donald Trump and people who support more traditional Republican values. We will learn a lot more between now and election day–namely, we will find out where these different “brands” of Republicanism fall when they step into the voting booth.
        If you ever want political analysis on a particular topic, let me know. I would be happy to share my posts or even write something on a specific topic that you are interested in. I certainly enjoy reading your material.

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        • I’m actively looking for well-written, thoughtful political posts. As for subject matter, along with many other people, I think all the right-wing “take back America” movements are racism, thinly disguised. In some cases, not EVEN disguised. Maybe being married to a non-white man has sensitized me, but there are “code” words anyone tuned to the the nuances of racism instantly recognizes. Although many people remark on Trump’s racism, fewer people are “getting” that all the right wing movements are seriously racist.

          I’m finding this election terrifying and personal. I’m pretty sure that if they had their way, I’d be in jail or dead. Probably you too. We are always the first ones up against the wall. No revolution tolerates dissenters.

          As a postscript, racism is (mostly) not a primary issue for white America. They wonder why “those people,” meaning non-white people, get so upset about it. This is because it doesn’t directly affect them. I’m not sure they will ever get it, either. There is nothing in their life experience that lends them understanding. Yet race and race relations are at the core of American political life and have been since before the revolution. You only have to look at the devil’s compromise built into the Constitution to understand how conflicted about race Americans are. What’s surfacing now — again — is what has always been seething beneath the surface. I guess having a Black president really moved it from the back burner to the front.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Your blog is very interesting. I too wrote a piece on this years U.S. election that you might enjoy. https://laurahallissey.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/a-political-circus/ I am glad to see from the comments that people are as confused as I am by the madness that gives me hope.

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    • I read your article. It’s a good one and I agree with it. Thanks for commenting and thanks for caring. I don’t know if people are so much confused as angry … and upset. The world used to make some kind of sense. Now, it doesn’t make sense. No sense. Nonsense. Crazy time everywhere you look. And scary time very close to home.

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  5. On twitter within the last couple of weeks there has been notice taken of a recent lawsuit or two against Trump because of rape — sounds like a potential Bill Cosby situation. The comments on twitter were to the effect “why have we not heard about this?” Of course, I cannot verify this information, but when it showed up on several sites for a day or two, I couldn’t help wonder about the answer to this question!

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  6. I have just read Governor Mike Pence’s speech in support of Indiana’s anti-abortion legislature. https://ipledgeafallegiance.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/freedom-to-ejaculate/ You must be right about the press gag. How else could the prospective 2IC of what’s arguably the world’s most intelligent nation get away with such crass, offensive and ignorant bigotry?

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  7. I think Bill and Hillary know that they can get away with just about anything so the runway conversation…Nothing to see; keep on moving. Hillary will win and then the real hijinks begin. If that is at all possible.

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    • You know, she could be a decent president. I don’t think she’ll be a world-changer. She’s basically too middle-of-the-road to do anything wild and crazy, but she also won’t blow up the world. Trump just might.

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  8. Newspapers hate him- the NY Times, Washington Post write the truth about him but the people who need to be reading what they are writing are not reading those papers. It is terrifying to me that he is where he is. Did you see the Stahl interview- listening to it was frightening, but more frightening to read the transcript. Oy- I could go on forever, but won’t since I know you feel the same!!!

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  9. I like you, Marilyn. You’ve got a damn good head on your shoulders and are married to a great guy. I can not agree with you more because I don’t have any more to give. I just sit here nodding my head as I read your posts. I have never disliked anyone as much as I dislike the current Republican nominee. I didn’t even dislike Bush as much as I dislike this guy. Wait. Maybe that’s hyperbole. Maybe I did. But now, I almost wish Bush was running again, just so I didn’t have to listen to this guy.

    Like

    • Garry and I were talking about this the other day, that whether or not you like the Bush family, they are patriots. They believe in public service and they wouldn’t intentionally destroy the country. That’s been the bottom line throughout our history, that at the very least the people we elected had good (if misguided) intentions.

      Trump? I think he’s on a power trip. He has a lot of money. He wants to be president. We don’t require a candidate be intelligent, educated, or have relevant experience. Anyone can run and be elected.

      I get a migraine writing this. With acid reflux.

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  10. It’ definitely frightening! At first it was amusing, but everybody knew that Trump would take himself out of the running — no longer, and the consequences to the country have been so badly underestimated thate the election could be a real disaster. I think I’ll watch the conventions, then turn off the television till the election!

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  11. I’m so glad I’m not an American citizen because facing these elections would be a nightmare. However, for my own reasons, I believe Trump may not be as stupid/hateful/prejudiced/other as he looks. Some in-depth analysis of his behavior from Scott Adams and a few other resources made me reconsider my initial impression of him as an idiot, and I was never a Hillary supporter so I’m much more open-minded about Trump at the moment. But that’s just my humble opinion. I just hope the US chooses the right President.

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    • He isn’t an idiot, not by a long shot. Not stupid, either. He’s playing a role, but I don’t know what motivations he’s got or what his end-game is. The one thing I think we can all be reasonably certain of is that Donald Trump is NOT a man of the people. He is a child of privilege who is used to getting what he wants, one way or the other. He doesn’t have MY best interests at heart. Whatever he wants, it’s something that’s important to HIM.

      What we are sure of? He IS a racist. He IS a bigot. If nothing else were known about him? That, in my mind, would disqualify him from ANY public office. He also treats women like dirt rags. This is not anyone I want in control of ANY part of my life. Ever. For any reason.

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    • So the racism and bigotry is okay with you????

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      • I respect your opinion, and I hope you respect mine. No, it’s not OK with me, and open-minded does not mean supportive.
        As I’ve mentioned, I’m not an American citizen; if I were, I’d think twice, thrice and ten times before I voted for this guy. I am, though, a Russian citizen and frankly, Clinton’s stance on US-Russian relations alerts me more than Trump’s. Plus any remarks he makes may all just be BS, and there is nothing in this universe that can bind free will and preclude him from acting more presidential, less misogynistic, racist, bigoted, etc. in the future.
        Again, Marilyn, that’s keeping an open mind, not saying I’d vote for him were I in your place. Truth be told, my views don’t concur with Trump’s or Clinton’s.
        P.S. If maybe you thought “make the right choice” meant Trump… It didn’t. It meant whatever candidate will ultimately be better for the US and the whole world.

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        • I’m just so upset by this whole election. I think a lot of the people supporting Trump have NO idea what he stands for. How can they? As far as I can tell, the only thing he stands for is himself.

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          • Well, I wouldn’t say that they’re clueless. He says a lot of… questionable (to say the least) things, but he also has some good suggestions for changing the US policy, both foreign and domestic. And I still believe (read: hope) that if he comes closer to getting elected, he will start acting more like a proper President (which is actually a bit noticeable now; the contrast to his outrageous/BS statements in the beginning is evident). If he doesn’t… the thing is, Hillary Clinton isn’t a much better candidate, and I’m very disappointed that Sanders didn’t do well in the race. Now, in my view, you have a person who is obviously selfish (but most people are, Hillary isn’t an exception) and it’s unclear whether he will do more good than bad if he wins, and a candidate whose foreign policy and economy plans may backfire so hard it’d hurt both the US and other countries. So, I’m upset by this whole election too, really.

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  12. This post is so full of wise if sad observations. The Montesquieu quote could not be more timely and pertinent and on both sides of the Atlantic. Where are the reasoned commentaries and critiques. In the UK even the leftish press bleats on about Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn having no policies. Funny that they don’t seem to listen to what he says and then write about it, but would rather try to talk him out of the party leadership. We have to rely on YouTube films a lot of the time to find out what he really wants to do.

    Like

  13. We are so fascinated by the whole campaign down here in New Zealand. Our election campaigns only last a few weeks, not months or even years as in America. Trump is definitely not welcome here. To us he is just a huge joke. Like someone playing out a role on a big reality show. (My opinion at least). My son catches up with the campaigns on Reddit and just hates Trump – he would destroy America within a few months.

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  14. There is not very much I can say, although I feel as you if I had to vote. No Trumps, please, no way. Is he a joke or a politician? Anyhow thanks for the explanation Marilyn. I now have the british elections behind me. If you had remained as an english colony, you wouldn’t be having all those problems now.

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  15. I’m not sure why the network suits have gagged their talent. My 40 plus years in the biz convinces me there clearly is a gag order even if it’s denied by the suits and their lawyers. I won’t bother with any conspiracy or blackmail theories. They just lead to more ignorant sound and fury.
    A few journalists like Tom Brokaw have voiced clear opinions. But there aren’t many Brokaws out there.
    This is where I miss the likes of Cronkite, Murrow and others unafraid of straight talk. They always made it clear it was subjective opinion — not reporting.
    The only ones giving us opinions are the Fox “journalists”. But they are claiming their stuff to be facts.
    It’s a sad state of affairs we have, Ollie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t understand the silence. It bothers me almost as much as the politicians. A free press has always been our bulwark against tyranny. The Constitution, the courts … they are slow to deal with real “now” problems. The press has always been out there swinging long before the engines of government get moving. Now, silent, you just have to wonder why. And that gives me a very bad feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The answer is simple.., Trump secretly owns them all, the broadcast networks, print media, social networks, everything and they all want to keep their jobs. OR.., they are stupidly trying to be “fair..,” If that’s the case I don’t get it either? Why should we be fair, he isn’t? The only thing that I keep thinking is that if this asshole actually becomes president the built in checks and balances of government will prove their worth as he tries to bully the US and the world.., I think? “Bad feeling” is an understatement But what else do we call it?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m just hating this whole political cycle. I can’t find any redeeming features. Garry’s agrees with me. He things someone is muzzling people who would normally be speaking up. The why is an interesting question. Trump can’t own all of them. And “being fair” doesn’t seem to explain the yawning silence. Are they waiting for something to happen? Like what?

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          • Yes and I was being facetious. What indeed is happening.., it’s almost as if there’s a death wish? They want something to happen, good or bad, just to make news of some kind? This is a very weird time we live in and I’m a little nervous about it all.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Ben, that’s why GET-TV is one of my favorite sources of entertainment these days.

          Like

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