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Change in Tone

I know that it’s been a long time (3 years) but this is a reminder that there is nothing normal or presidential about this tone:

Now, some voters may have believed that it was time to give an unorthodox, irreverent, non-politician the office as a way to shake up Washington. We can address later whether it was a good idea to choose one who is so completely devoid of character.

Unfortunately, this is not the time for unorthodox, irreverent, characterless non-politicians.

Right now, we need an FDR who can navigate both the economy and war. This is not the person who is in charge. And the sooner we realize that not having an FDR in charge is trending us towards disaster, the better.

Acceptance is the first step.

8 Responses

  1. Now, some voters may have believed that it was time to give an unorthodox, irreverent, non-politician the office as a way to shake up Washington. We can address later whether it was a good idea to choose one who is so completely devoid of character.

    Again, the ultimate problem, without which even Putin would be helpless to damage us significantly:

    Millions of our fellow citizens are, quite simply, unfit to govern themselves or anyone else. The rest of us must turn out in overwhelming numbers to outvote them in this upcoming election. And the election after that. And the election after that. And the election after that…until enough of the mean, stupid people have either wised up or died off.

    • You know, I know some of them are motivated by denying other people sparrows and curtain rods. But there’s also this really weird phenomenon of absolutely hating what the other side has to say. You can see it play out in De Santis and Kemp. They both knew what was going on. They were told, Warned, begged. But they chose to dismiss it because of the source. And I’m not just referring to the media. I’m referring the experts as well.
      I had a family member like this. She would ask me about some biomedical or pharmaceutical thing. I would give her my best answer and then she would say “Oh I don’t believe it. I am trusting Dr Larraine Day.” It was because Dr Day was telling her she didn’t have to do chemo. As long as she followed this stupid quack protocol about her ph being alkaline, her cancer would disappear. But when I told her the truth about human pH, she didn’t want to hear it. This went on for MONTHS. I finally asked her why she was always contradicting everything I told her. She said it was because she didn’t like the way I think.
      That explains a lot of the defiance of the right wingers. They know what we say has validity. But they don’t like *us*. They don’t like that we don’t sugar coat things or allow them to engage in wishful thinking. We are always harshing their mellow. In fact, it makes them dig in their heels.
      The outcome of my story is that the person in question died. The quackery didn’t work, just as I told her it wouldn’t. But she clung to a miracle cure that didn’t involve chemo right to the end. It’s a willing blindness to confront the facts and the Republicans have encouraged this.

  2. The fact that Dr. Fauci now has armed guards because of threats made by literally insane right-wing cultists, will give an idea of how bad this is. Barry Goldwater, who in his time was seen as a right-wing extremist, and was so with regard to his views on fighting the war in Vietnam, but was not at all with regard to other things, said back then that he greatly feared the rise of the Evangelicals, you couldn’t even talk to them, they would not listen. I underrated all of that, when I read pieces in The New Republic about their rise in various states. Most of them are rigidly anti-science and anti any kind of facts. How they latched onto Trump as their idol is topic to fill a book, but we know that he is like them, he hates science, knows nothing, mocks anyone who does, makes up his own truth, so this is what they have been looking for. And too much of America does not want to criticize religiosity, so they will even praise them for it.

    The media hated Hillary for other weird reasons, but their hatred suffused their coverage to the extent of simply not vetting Trump for being an abysmally stupid person who has no idea of anything, except how to run a mob, and how to steal money. He is now fixated on the price of oil, says that this is like a tax break for people (but they are not driving!), and now is excited that the price of oil will stabilize. What does this have to do with anything, except that it moved the stock market up? The media simply cannot admit that Trump has no idea what to do about the virus, that he is deliberately killing people in blue states by not providing needed supplies, while giving governors of red states even more than they ask for. He is in essence, making deals the way a mob boss does, with even less humanity than they have.

    People talk about “battered wife syndrome,” but I think that this is not the most apposite comparison, because it connotes an extreme threat of physical violence. What it is, is what i used to call the ‘Woody Hayes theory.” Hayes was a very successful football coach at Ohio State, a devotee of General Patton, a student of military history, but a hotheaded authoritarian most of the time. The media was so intimidated by him, that when he took his OSU team to the Rose Bowl game, and he was charming at a press luncheon, they praised him. When someone is unpleasant and insulting most of the time, but you can’t escape him at work or wherever, and then he/she is unusually nice on a rare occasion, the tendency is to be very grateful for that. Conversely, someone who is nice most of the time, and then one time says something critical or thoughtless, is very disappointing to the recipient. Be a jerk most of the time, and occasionally be nice, and you will intimidate most people so much that they will fall over themselves when that person shows any spark of niceness. That was Woody Hayes, that was Bobby Knight, and that is Trump.

    And the media may very well get him elected again, a monumental tragedy for the human race, and this country particularly. But the media is just a bunch of people who want access, and like being on TV, and are so much a part of the clubby Beltway scene, that they have lost the essence of what journalists are supposed to do. And their bosses are mostly right-wing corporatists who just want money and ratings, which is another word for money, so will sell out America to get it. Their narrative of “Trump’s change of tone.” is so stupid, so desperately subservient to him, so belied by everything he has done and is right now doing, to line his pockets, to destroy the safety net, to damage his enemies in blue states, that it is beyond appalling.

    • I still root against Ohio State in athletic contests because Woody Hayes was such a jerk when I was growing up.

      Likewise, if the GOP reformed in 2021 and I could live another 100 years (which I can’t, as I will complete my 57th solar orbit in May), I would probably still vote against the GOP because I would remember their Nixon-to-Trump years.

  3. “Oil surges 24% for best day on record, after Trump tells CNBC Russia, Saudis reach agreement.” Does anything more need to be said beyond blatant stock market manipulation by Trump, which is illegal? No one on cable news ever says a word about it, though. Just a few extra hundreds of millions going into their pockets while the rest of the world lives in fear and anxiety.

    • From Plato:
      According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and re ascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet [decorative front of the ring] outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result-when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another’s, he would be thought by the lookers-on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another’s faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer

      The more things change…

      • A brilliantly relevant referencing from the literature of antiquity. It is a fascinating philosophical discussion to have in better times: if people know that there were no way that their acts could be discerned, or if they did not believe that there were any god to mete out justice, would they just do what most gratified them, with no sense of morality whatsoever? Some would not, i think, but many would. Trump doesn’t even need an invisible ring, he and his followers just deny reality, so that what people think they see him doing, he claims not to have done. How much of this country’s people could be so much like the brainwashed or just stupid followers of “reality controlling” totalitarians throughout history, would be stunning to the most cynical of people.

        Trump has always seen other people only as marks, or to gratify his impulses. He needed various mafias to keep him out of jail or the scaffold. Now he has a band of perverted followers who help him to cover up his crimes, his tax returns, his phone conversations, so that in essence he is like an invisible man. Except that he has not, he has no magic ring or cloak, he just has his cult followers who know very well what he is doing, but are fine with it, because they get to share in the grifts, and as long as the carnage doesn’t happen to them, but to the libs and the lib states. Imagine what Socrates or Plato or Montaigne or Locke or Washington or LIncoln would say about Trump and his cult. If Philip Roth were still alive, he could tell the story in a way that maybe more people would read than the group which just looks at social media. If Philip K. Dick were alive, he would see it as beyond his most dystopian evocations. And yet in Roth’s most analogous book, “The Plot Against America,” and in almost all of Dick’s novels, the better people, the ones with humanity, find a way to prevail. This one is not fiction, though. Roth and Dick and the philosophers cared about the fate of humanity.

        • Many of Trump’s Chumps don’t even get any practical benefits from following him. They just do it for DXM’s reason that I posted above.

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