Tag: Hillary Clinton

IN TRUMP WE TRUST

And we thought the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series was historic.

trump-coinIn a massive FU to the ruling class that bailed out Wall Street then sold out Main Street, the American people elected boorish billionaire and reality TV star Donald J. Trump as its 45th president yesterday.  It was a stunning rebuke not only to his Democratic challenger and status quo candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, but to the current President Barack Obama, and the Republican Party hierarchy as well.

Not since Old Hickory, Andy Jackson, rode into Washington from Nashville in 1829 has such a pure populist insurgent been handed the reins of power by the American electorate. But even Jackson had a record of military and political service. Trump is the first man elected to the nation’s highest office as a complete novice, with no military or political experience of any kind in his CV.

Never once ahead in the polls in the election run up, Trump’s shocking victory and Clinton’s perilous fall announced to the world that a powerful anti-establishment, anti-elite, anti-immigrant movement had arrayed itself behind the Trump banner.  And while this movement is coming FROM the people, it is also true that it is not really OF the people, as Trump is no more one of the people than Mitt Romney was. Never has been, never will be.

But in the absence of an acceptable choice from the Dems, Trump wielded his “Make America Great Again” slogan like a conjurer’s stone until even true blue states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin succumbed to the fever dream offered by the New York real estate tycoon.

And it didn’t matter that Trump has never once experienced the kind of difficulties that led millions of people to throw in with him. He was no American Lech Walesa, the Polish electrician who co-founded Poland’s Solidarity Movement and led a workers’ strike in the shipyards of Gdansk in 1981 that began the dismantling of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

But in the absence of a person who comes directly from the ranks of the disenfranchised, Donald Trump’s populist message and bombastic braggadocio was seized upon as the imperfect vessel to hold the frustrations and hopes of this country’s under-served, and non-represented.

(more…)

Advertisements

WALLS OF INTOLERANCE, BRIDGES WITHOUT SPANS

Last Thursday First Lady Michelle Obama delivered an emotional rebuke to Republican Party nominee Donald Trump after sexually aggressive comments he made in 2005 surfaced on an open-mic Access Hollywood video.  The week following the tape’s release nine women came forward telling of incidents with Mr. Trump that mirrored the behavior he bragged about 11 years before.

Mr. Trump has vehemently denied his accuser’s allegations, said his 2005 comments were just “locker room talk”, and then called the uproar that followed part of a sinister news media led conspiracy meant to take down his insurgent presidential bid.  His rabid followers began sharpening pitchforks and re-tarring their torches, but many on both sides of the aisle were deeply offended by the grabber in chief’s words, denials, and conclusions.

First Lady Michelle Obama‘s voice broke several times during the speech she delivered in New Hampshire as she categorized Mr. Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush in 2005 as “hurtful, hateful language.”

“Language that has been painful for so many of us,” she continued. “Not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults. And as citizens who think our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency…It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”

There is no doubt the First Lady was deeply troubled by Citizen Trump, as she probably has been since he first championed the Birther issue that questioned her husband’s legitimacy as president. But while it is easy to puncture the gilded pomposity of a man born of great wealth but an equal dearth of couth, perhaps Mrs. Obama knows now how the right-to-life movement feels about abortion and what it represents to their closely held beliefs.  Is it happenstance alone that the coarsening of American culture has coincided, not just with the emergence of a man like Trump, but with the Roe  v. Wade decision in 1973 (not to mention Watergate and the Vietnam War)?

So let’s all open our eyes and look around. There is more than one point of view. And if you are talking about equivalency, there are many who (evidently) would still take a loud-mouth lout who pushes himself on women, but who represents fundamental political change, over a status-quo candidate who “dissembles on an Olympian level”, “condones infanticide”, and enables her husband to push himself on women, too, all while serving as poster girl for the same/old, same/old. (more…)

HOPING THEY REMEMBER: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU

The same day as the first U.S. presidential debate, the Colombian government signed an accord with the Marxist rebel group FARC, ending a 52-year conflict that consumed a quarter-million lives. However, just a week later in a single-issue referendum, the Colombian people voted by a narrow 50.22% majority to reject that deal, though it had taken four years to negotiate.

The lesson is as simple as it is repetitious: conflicts benefit very, very few, while they destroy very, very many. And even near the end conciliation is difficult to achieve amidst the bitter entrails of a long-standing feud.

Hopefully, both candidates for the White House will take that into account under the bright lights and heavy pressure of presidential politics, remembering that this contest isn’t about either one of them, per se, but about the republic and that for which it stands. (more…)

ON WOBBLING PLATES AND HAIL MARYS

Donald v HillaryThe real questions in this election are 1) who are we? And just as importantly, 2) who does the international community think we are?

The world is a beautiful, complex, yet at times, dangerous place.  Choosing a president to lead America in such times is a decision fraught with challenges. Problems facing the nation have numerous competing points of view, which lends a plate-spinner’s quality to building consensus. As such, except in those very rare moments like December 8, 1941, or 9/12/01, the nation never really achieves universal accord. There is always a plate or two that is wobbling.

Keeping it together
Keeping it together

But that was the framer’s vision, fearful as they were of arbitrary royal power. So the art of politics is not to produce one side with perfectly spinning plates while the other side’s crash to the floor, which was essentially the old feudal system. Instead, it is in managing to keep all the plates spinning as best you can so the set remains whole.

Though we are a nation of individuals, there is a shared ethic undergirding the American experience. So did the Founding Fathers “mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” in signing the Declaration of Independence.

That pledge and declaration gave birth not only to the nation, but to the concept of American Exceptionalism, whose legacy has brought the country through the depths of a Civil War and the planet through the cataclysm of two world wars. It is not just the nation, then, but the world at large that has been guided by the even keel of this grand ship of state.

The risk that currently confronts us is not only what a particular candidate might say or do once in office, but also what others may say or do in response. (more…)

MONDAY NIGHT RAW

Two titans in Berlin
Two titans in Berlin

What were they thinking — or not thinking, as the case may be? In a race that close, the stakes so high, I mean, why didn’t Wilson Kipsang invite Keninise Bekele’s goat-getter (maybe Mo Farah) onto the Berlin Marathon press truck just to needle him a little in the final kilometers? In a marathon 10-seconds is a blink. It wouldn’t have taken very much to throw him off his game. Didn’t these guys follow news reports between training sessions?

The BMW Berlin Marathon might have kicked off the 2016 Abbott World Marathon Majors fall campaign in real style (Bekele in 2:03:03 to Kipsang’s 2:03:13), but there’s no doubt which is the major race of the season. (more…)

MOCKING MATTERS

How often did your parents freeze you with, “Don’t take that tone with me!”?

In that same vein, mocking the two current major party presidential candidates is so easy Hasbro should attach a “For ages 10 & under” sticker to the practice. But though it provides hours of family fun, it isn’t a game (or a tone) that should be so readily indulged. 

Tone Matters
Tone Matters

Here’s why. We The People. See, there are many, many Americans, the number is in the tens of millions, who believe in what the Orange Crush and Hill The Pill are  saying, whether it’s right, wrong, or simply Looney Tunes. So when you mock Mookie, you mock his or her followers as well. And all that does is push both sides farther and farther apart to the point where after the election when healing is needed for governing to begin, the wound remains open and infected. Then nobody wins and everybody loses.

We have already seen its beginnings through Obama’s two terms, but it’s a wound we can’t allow to keep festering. 

Therefore, if you say you love the country at all, then all your mocking is doing is hurting the thing that you say you love. Because, no matter what the candidates say – and it’s funny how tricky truth is depending on where you are standing – America is her people bound by the ideals that formed her.  (more…)