THE FUTURE CUSP – POLITICS AHOY

To say that we are on the cusp of “old” politics while beginning the “new,” is an understatement. Our world has changed. Fast and hard and it’s barreling down that mountain with every intent of flattening us.

There has been this “issue” in American politics for a long time … twenty, maybe 30 or more years. Maybe since we started being a country at all.

Our citizens have a fundamental, irreversible belief that an “outsider” can fix whatever is wrong because “they aren’t part of the establishment.” If you think, for a moment, about how the United States became a government, it makes more sense. We weren’t “released” from our status as a colony to become part of England’s worldwide network. We fought them and threw them out. We won. They left. Even when they tried to come back (and damned near succeeded), even after we had to abandon Washington DC, we never returned to English over-lordship. We don’t have the Queen stamped on our money. We don’t bow — even reluctantly — to him or her Majesty in London.

We were free and not because they let us go. From that time since, we have viewed other nations as potential oppressors. When we decide we need to be “fixed,” we don’t look for someone who has spent a lifetime studying the system and making it work. Rather, we look for someone who comes from somewhere else. Who knows nothing. The less the better.

This policy doesn’t work. It never did. Let’s not even go back far in our short history. Look at James Earl “Jimmy” Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924). He is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He was and is an exceptionally intelligent, thoughtful man with a heart of gold. Who was practically run out of office. He didn’t fix the government. No one gave him half a chance. He was the governor of a southern state and he didn’t have the background to make it work. Not a single run as a senator or even congressman in DC. Since leaving office, he has worked ceaselessly on our behalf. He was — absolutely — a really good guy.

If you aren’t part of the establishment, you’ll won’t easily get legislation through congress. Maybe not at all. Many presidents who were governors before election have had trouble getting help from congress. They weren’t half as stupid and bizarre as Trump-O-Matic.

There is a way business gets done in every parliament and congress around the world. It’s the way it has always been done.

Like this.

You give me something, I give you something. We call in our own personal markers — on both sides of the aisle — and voilà, the business gets done. The give-and-take of congress is the essence of democracy — yours, ours, or theirs. The most effective presidents (like Lyndon Johnson) were those who had a lot of markers to call.

Markers are not money. In fact, markers are rarely money but more “I owe you for this one.” Next round? Your guy comes through. Usually. You can’t just strong-arm everyone to “do your will.” It isn’t like that. This process is not evil. It’s simply how its done. How it was done back in Rome and Egypt. There is nothing new under our sun.


The critical thing that made this work well — when it works — is because people running a government care about us. The people.

Greedy? Maybe, but they certainly aren’t in it for the money. They are in government to try to do something worthwhile. Many (probably most) were wealthy to begin with, so the money was neither here nor there.

Power hungry? Probably, though maybe for good reason. Who else would bother to run for president or prime minister? You have to have a powerful drive to get to the top and a potent belief that you can do something worthwhile once you get there. Few of us have the will to even start the process. I sure don’t, nor does anyone I know. There are plenty of other ways to get rich.

So it isn’t really so hard to figure out why people would elect someone like Trump-O-Matic.  What’s a lot harder to figure out is why anyone trusted this moron to have some good ideas and to care whether or not he helped anyone but himself and his rich pals.

Trump-O-Matic was never in it to help anyone. I’m not convinced he understands that we — all of us — are his people. He doesn’t know what the first amendment is supposed to do, what an intelligence briefing is about … and I doubt he can read more than a few sentences at a time. He is too stupid to understand basic stuff like the constitution and how it works and should never have been president of anything. He’s a bigot, a con man … and worst of all … he’s a fool.

Don’t forget — the only reason Trump-O-Matic isn’t doing even more harm is his party is in fragments. They don’t like him. They dislike him almost as much as I do, though I think my reasons are better. It’s the single thing in this long nightmare for which I am grateful.

37 thoughts on “THE FUTURE CUSP – POLITICS AHOY

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  2. I don’t know — I think government is like everything else; there are good people, weak people, evil people, strong people. I think government leaders sometimes DO forget who they represent (we have such a guy in Colorado right now). But they do know how to do their jobs and, for the most part, try to represent their constituency. I don’t think Trump even realizes that the people in congress don’t work for him and that many of his choices for his own staff have insulted congress people and the professional government as a whole.

    As I read this, I thought of how I was summarily ejected from teaching ESL at a community college because I didn’t have the training. In fact, I began before there WAS training and I DID training when a degree program was offered, but that didn’t matter at all. Insiders don’t like outsiders, even those who are competent and experienced, and Trump is neither.

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    • The concept of an outside bringing justice to Tombstone has its roots in America’s heartland. Maybe it worked fine. In Tombstone. Deadwood. But DC isn’t them and the president isn’t the marshall come to down with blazing guns.

      Since Humpty Trumpty understand nothing about anything, why would he understand professional lawmakers? He really IS a fool and not in a good way.

      I had much the same experience in tech writing. I started tech writing when the profession had no name. I taught it in college to grads of other programs looking for a new job. I was very very good at it. But I didn’t have the most recent software. I didn’t believe in rolling up developer’s comments to “turn them into a manual” because RAW DATA ISN’T A MANUAL. It’s just raw data. But like you, I became obsolete. Now, ironically — hilariously — the jobs I looked for are creeping back. I get a lot of nibbles from the same companies that wouldn’t look at me because I don’t have a degree in a subject that hadn’t been invented when I was in school. Pity this stuff wasn’t around when I actually cared.

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      • As I’ve said before, the vote for Trump was desperation and I seriously don’t think anyone thought the result would be what it turned out. Every day new things emerge that seem to demonstrate how complicated the last election was. I’m now on a mission to help the people where I live understand where their own interests lie — and thank goodness I’m not alone in this because I’m an outsider and that makes me suspect… Odd, isn’t it?

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            • We live in a small town in Massachusetts. People are perfectly pleasant to us, but we don’t “belong.” It’s not personal. It’s not even racial. We didn’t grow up in the Valley. We don’t have forbears buried in the local cemeteries. We aren’t involved in church life AND we are very citified in the way we approach life. You know. College. Media. I’m Jewish. Garry’s not white. We just aren’t them, not even close.

              Small towns are not welcoming to newcomers. Our town isn’t rude or mean. If we had become really involved in church or local politics (DOG FORBID!), they would like us better. We didn’t and won’t. We had friends. They died. We miss them. So, we are very nice to each other — and I think that’s the way it will stay.

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              • My town is nice to me but back when I was making my little foray into the “art scene” I sure found out how things are. Lots of people here are from other places, but I’ve been “different” all my life (no idea why) and that is still true. I have two friends and they are real and they are my neighbors. I count myself lucky. I have some good acquaintances too. And since I am no longer trying to set the world on fire it’s all fine by me.

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                • We were fine when our friends were alive. They all died in a very short time with no warning at all. I think neither of us has the stomach to start again. I feel like I OUGHT to make friends or at least, I ought to want to make new friends, but I don’t. Not really.

                  To say that Garry and I are “different” would be funny. Garry is “less different” than me, or at least less outspoken than me. But really, his differences racially, educationally, and professionally make him VERY different and skeptical doesn’t even begin to cover it. He is quiet about it and people don’t notice.

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                  • I have no idea how I’m different but people tell me. I don’t know — I’ve had some great friends over the years and I’m always incredibly grateful when it happens, but I’ve learned to depend on my own resources since good friendships are not easy to come by. It’s lucky I’m that way or I could not be happy here and I am. 😃

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                    • You think too much. You define everything. You look for meanings where others do not. That makes you different. It made ME different. Garry too. Most people don’t think like that. My best friends have been people who do the same thing. It was easier when more of us lived in one part of the country and could hang out and visit. Now, we are very spread out all over the globe, but when we are (rarely) together, we can talk the way we always did.

                      You are what I call “a definitive thinker.” You need to understand what and why and how. Most people are NOT like that. And they find it annoying, too. Annoying = strange.

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                    • We certainly think more than most people. Those who don’t want to spend quite as much time thinking find us annoying. AND exhausting. My husband gets tired. He says he spent too many years thinking and drinking. Now he doesn’t drink, so he also doesn’t have to spend as much time thinking.

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                    • I think most people don’t have the equipment to think past a certain level. I think many find me threatening, judgmental (I’m not) and, yes, annoying. I can’t be anyone else and now I don’t feel pressured to be anyone else. That’s the biggest relief of retirement.

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                    • I have found that to be true too. Professionally and personally. It’s probably why I’ve more or less given up trying. In such a small pool of people (locally), the odds of finding a few more people who don’t feel threatened? Nil, I think. Have you ever noticed when someone says “Wow, you’ve led such an amazing life!” you just KNOW there isn’t going to be a relationship. That awestruck note is a killer.

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                    • Yep. I don’t even think it’s that “awestruck” sometimes — I’ve noticed around here it means, “You’re not like me.” Or, “You’ve had more privileges than I have or you wouldn’t have done those things.” Never mind that in my case it was about choices and sacrifices, not privileges at all. They also don’t get it that I think THEY have had amazing lives. I haven’t done what they’ve done and I couldn’t begin to do it. Envy is one of the nastiest forces on the planet. It got us our current president.

                      I’m really happy with my two friends here. I don’t know if we would be friends anywhere else, but we don’t have anyone else and we enjoy ourselves when we go out and take a hike or something. We’re like little girls. I learned as a teacher that one of the attributes of my personality is to make people feel that they have permission to enjoy themselves and not pretend to be someone else. I actually like people and their quirks and their innocence.

                      My neighbors lived across the street from each other and have known each other for 5+ years and never went on a hike together until I appeared on the scene. I’m semi-crippled (as you know) and they have to slow down for me, but they do and they watch out for me on the down hill, and they are proud with me when I manage it. It means a lot to all of us that we do that, go see a place we haven’t seen before.

                      I feel the transitory nature of life very acutely now and that changes how I view people. I really appreciate who these women are, their kindness and our need for each other. We look out for each other and that matters. They’ve read my novels and shared them with others and that means a lot to me. I don’t feel I need to be someone else because of that. You and I both know I don’t write light fiction. 😉

                      My whole goal moving here was just to be happy, to take everyone as they come and not spend too much time around assholes or people who make no sense to me. I had enough of that in the classroom and with colleagues and bosses.

                      At this point in my life I’m not sure friendship is about deep conversations, anyway. Especially as my three best friends are dogs and our talks are limited…

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. I find it interesting reading the newspapers. Not many refer to Trump as president – even on the evening news. So, really there is no respect for him, especially here in New Zealand. I think he considers the United States Presidency as a global version of The Apprentice. Or a global reality show.

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  4. Marilyn, you’ve written a brilliant overview of what has happened here. I agree that the GOP majority does NOT like the Trumpster, but the real danger is that they allowed this buffoon to lead the party because they wanted to be in control.., at any cost. That cost is US. We don’t mean “diddley” to them. They forget that they were elected by US.., maybe not by our US, but the other US never the less. They’ve even given up serving those they owe their jobs to, and seem to be on some personal goal and vendetta. The “Good ol Boys” never quite got over the fact that the country elected a black president right under their noses.., TWICE, and now want to un-do everything he did, with little, or no help from the GOP. I had to laugh at the dilemma they ran into trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Also the new proposed care act has the same initials, ACA. Not to mention the blocking of Trumpadoodle’s immigration policy by those who knew it was “unconstitutional.” The Constitution?” what’s that? It was done a long time ago, so why should we have to follow it now?., it’s not a modern document.., doesn’t meet our needs, the needs of the “rich” and “powerful” that is.

    It’s always puzzled me when dictators try to kill off all the people in their country. Don’t they know that without the people there IS no country. Maybe that should happen here, at least get rid of the poor people, which is US since there is little if any middle class left these days. Then the richest could battle the less rich for whatever it is they think they want. That could be a very interesting situation dontcha think?

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    • More than half the legislators in this country do not care what happens to their own people, much less “the others,” namely those who didn’t vote for them. They don’t get the “one nation” thing, which of course was the whole point of creating these United States out of 13 surprisingly different colonies. Then, from that came the damnable constitution which keeps tripping up one president after another.

      It IS interesting, but it also exhausting. I will be on edge for the remainder of my natural life. I had hoped for something a little less tense.

      But definitely, NOT boring.

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  5. WE agree on many things here Marilyn. Perhaps i can answer your question about why people trusted Chump. – They didn’t!

    To trust someone you have to either be very naive and trust anyone, or, you have to know the person really well. Chump supporters in the main were probably quite naive but very few if any knew him well. (Even if they convinced themselves that they did because they watched The Apprentice religiously). They didn’t vote for him because they trusted him. they voted because they trusted Hillary (and all the other Rep candidates for Pres) much less than the Star of The Apprentice who told them he could Make America Great Again.

    There were, in the end, only those two choices.

    Those whose lifestyles had been eroded over the last 8 years while America was trying to be governed by the Democratic Party (and i am not saying THEY started the rot) could not bring themselves to vote for more of the same and MANY chose not to vote at all rather than the choice they were left with. Those people clutched at what they saw as their saviour like a drowning man clutches at a straw to keep their head above water. Throw in some sympathy from Chump who knows how to play up to peoples’ weaknesses and irrationality and BOOM! – President. Everyone loves a winner and in their neck of the deep woods he was looking just like one.

    Who they will turn to when he lets them all down so badly is anyone’s guess, but you can bet there will always be someone ready and waiting to take advantage of the disadvantaged in society.

    As to how America might best find it’s way out of this mess – it is my belief that could only be done through a co-operative approach to government, (working for the betterment of ALL, not just the elite) and not the combative, competitive one you have now between two opposing sides – Does no-one in western society actually understand what divide and conquer means?

    love.

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    • We do NOT agree. You think we do, but we do not. I believe our government, with all it quirks and eccentricities works. You think it’s all rotting and we need some kind of nicey nice overturning of the state to be nicer to each other. You show me ANY place on earth in any age where that has actually worked for more than a long weekend. Anywhere. Much less as a government.

      It does not work and it never will. People are not like that, not in this nation OR yours.

      You are wrong in so many ways I don’t even know how to count them. As a start, you really don’t understand our government and how it works. You think you do and you have a very “nice” idea of the grand scheme of things which has nothing to do with reality and never did. Never will.

      The Trumpsters voted for him because he is white and so are they. Their sad lives have become obsolete. So has mine. So have many people’s. That’s the way it is. Many people got up, dusted themselves off, got an education and moved on. These people whine and complain , but they live lives that are so far off the rails of the world in which we really live, they will never be included. They do not believe in facts. They do not read books. They do not understand the give and take of a working society — and I think neither do you.

      There will NEVER be a world where the government is set up to make everyone happy. There never has been. It doesn’t work that way. I don’t know a church, a Girl Scout troop, a local Business Cooperative, or ANY group anywhere that operates that way. Anywhere on earth.

      AMERICA IS NOT ROTTING. We are not falling apart. Those people who believe Obama ruined them were marching towards their own ruin for their OWN reasons long before Obama took office. They believe things that aren’t true. They think they are better because they have saved themselves by never reading books or getting an education. They hate us because we did. And, of course — we aren’t like THEM, the key element in the tale.

      I think you need to wrap you head around reality.

      You say: ” … it is my belief that could only be done through a co-operative approach to government, (working for the betterment of ALL, not just the elite) and not the combative, competitive one you have now between two opposing sides – Does no-one in western society actually understand what divide and conquer means?”

      We aren’t stupid. We get it. But that’s NOT what this government is about nor what people are about. People divide and conquer, with or without a government. People destroy one another in little Town Halls and giant stadiums. I’ve watched churches collapse because no one was able to agree on at what age a child should be baptized and nations kill half their citizens because one group thinks it’s better than the other — and in my opinion, they are EXACTLY THE SAME.

      You don’t fix a country by telling the people who think I and my husband are inferior because we are not them — me not christian and he not white — by making a nicey-nice “let’s all get together and play sweetly in the garden.” Believe it if you like, but it is unreal. It isn’t who THOSE people ARE. You should go back and read some of the other pieces people have written.

      We will never “convert” those people to simple things like knowledge, education, facts, science, truth, equality, tolerance. Never. They will always be what they are — haters of America because this country is NOT white and never will be again.They will never agree to live at piece in a diverse country where the government is composed of real, live people.

      Not Christian (and definitely not their idea of Christian!). They do not want to live in THIS country. I do not know any place where they would fit in. Jonestown? Oh, wait, they’re all dead.

      Start with “FORSETTI’S JUSTICE- THE DARK RIGIDITY OF FUNDAMENTALIST RURAL AMERICA –An Insider’s View: The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America. In deep-red white America, the white Christian God is king.” Move on from there. There’s is a lot you don’t know — including history.

      Sorry, no. We do not agree. Read our constitution, by the way. It’s a pretty good document, with all of its faults.

      There are people who maybe can come back and join the world again, who might be convinced that science isn’t fake and facts are not whatever dribbles out of some leaders’ mouth. But for the rest? Were they ever really part of this world? It’s a good question worth pondering. They were fine as long as this was an agricultural country and they could live in their little corner of it and not be bothered with “those OTHER people.” The problem is, there are a lot more of those other people now — and those little rural pockets are disappearing. You don’t have to agree with everything, but you have to start by admitting that other people have a right to BE here. Just like them.

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      • You’ re quite right – there IS a lot i don’t know but none if it involves anything you state here. There really is some communication problem here because your last 4 sentences i am in EXACT agreement with you!

        love

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        • Perhaps it is all wording. But know this: we will never have a cooperative government of any kind in your country OR mine. There never has been and never will be. And saying “that’s what we need” is the kind of stuff we did in college. We need a lot of things, but I’m pretty pragmatic. I’m no longer interested or willing to dream about the “in another lifetime maybe” — and your saying that those who voted for Trump did so out of some belief that he was going to improve their lives isn’t really true, either. So maybe you think we’re saying the same thing, but we really are NOT. They are not living in the same earthly plane as I am and I very much doubt they will be.

          The ones who think they have to dig coal and go to the same fundamentalist Church that tells them they are better than me because they are white and Christian? They aren’t going to change. Not now, not later, not ever. They may, if we are lucky, pass away and have children who can grow. Otherwise, they are stuck, like ice age creatures who died in the tar pits.

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          • Like it or not there ARE many things we agree on Marilyn. Clearly you have outlined some of the ways we do differ. It saddens me a little but you have as much right to your view as i have to mine. As for the tar pits, i’m sorry but it was not the pits that led to those creatures extinction (other than the few who got caught out in them) but rather it was the changing environment that they could not adapt to. Our environment is undergoing change at a previously unprecedented rate and many are trying and failing to resist the changes – trying to cling to what they ‘know’. They may die out – but not for quite some time yet and we ALL have to live on the same planet during that time. We all have to adapt to new circumstances – or perish.

            love.

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  6. eroding over the last 8 years. lol. yes. Damn the guy who brought americans back from the most corrosive depression since the great depression. How dare he. Trump will make America white again

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