Monday, March 2, 2020

Whistling Past the Graveyard: The Moron Savant


With all due respect to Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump is not a “fucking moron”; Donald Trump is a moron savant.  He’s really stupid but he has an unsurpassed talent.  He says stuff that many people want to believe.

He lies, says almost nothing, and people who want to believe him (or are terrified of not believing him) interpret his word salads as something semi-reasonable. He's very good at mimicking an adult rational person but he's really an ignorant toddler.  And he is stupid, but he has a talent that hides this from many people.  He hides his ignorance (or his inability to even understand the question) with a number of vague stock answers.  Their ambiguity allows him to get away with saying nothing.  Much of the time he doesn’t even have to lie.

Think about his answers to questions; he never says anything substantive.  While it is true that the art of the non-answer is as old as politicians, Donald answers almost every question, difficult or simple with a deflection.  It sounds good to his supporters (who all want their belief in him validated), and effective for non supporters because any push back is easily rebuffed.  

After all.

He IS the president; you aren’t allowed to “brow beat” him into a substantive reply.  If you do have the courage to stand your ground like James Acosta, you will be labeled as a Trump “hater”, someone who will have to watch his back because of the very large MAGA mob available to put you in your place.  He'll call you names on Twitter and try to get you fired from your job.

Some stock Trump “Answers”:

“We’ll see about that.”  We’re looking into it.” 

“I think XYZ is wonderful.”  “America is the greatest.”

“I’ve done more that anybody [about XYZ].”

 “We’re coming out with certain policy that’s going to be very interesting and very surprising, I think, to a lot of people.”


“It relates to everything we’re doing…”

“You’ll be hearing about it in—over the next couple of months.”

“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely.”

In the beginning of his term, almost nobody thought that he could get away with being as bad as he was during the campaign, but he has.  No one wanted to believe that America could be led by someone as awful as he showed us he could be then; it had to be an act.  He had to be kidding.  We whistled past the graveyard. 

We hoped he would be humbled by the office, schooled by good advisors and encouraged to do his best for the country.  It’s a little like Vietnam in 1970; surely all those young Americans didn’t die for nothing, so we’ll all refuse to believe that.  We'll continue to believe that it was the right thing to do.

People say their votes for Trump don’t make them responsible for the mess we are in; it has to be somebody else’s fault.  Little by little too many people have gotten used to him.  He has normalized the unthinkable: an ignorant, stupid, stubborn, immature spoiled brat bully with a third grader's world view is president of the United States.  And spectacularly, the Republican Party, Senate, and House of Representatives appear to be OK with that.  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Erasing History? or Creating a Myth


There has been quite a bit of discussion about the removal of Confederate memorials lately.  Many defenders of the “Southern Lost Cause” rue these removals as an affront to history.  I too am very concerned about monuments to our war veterans.  Specifically, I search in vain for the statues dedicated to the brave Monarchists that fought against George Washington during the illegal war of the Colonies against the God given absolute rights of King George.  People today laughingly call this the American Revolutionary War; oh, how some folks like to change names and the meaning of words.

A neighbor of mine, a local Virginian who reveres Confederate memorials, wrote a letter to our news paper wherein he called what most of us call the American Civil War: “the War in Defense of Virginia”.  Many southerners like to say this war was about “states rights”.  Let us be clear, it was fought to maintain the “rights” of white supremacists to own human beings in absolute bondage and deny those people any rights for them, their children, and descendents. 

There are no statues to the Tories that fought George Washington, for two reasons; their cause is now deemed to have been wrong, and they lost.  Even Robert E. Lee said that the Confederate battle flag should only be seen in museums.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Snail mail clickbait?


We give to a number of charities.  It’s enough of a burden to keep up with the legitimate causes which are all too often willing to dun you for more donations one week after you’ve given them money.  Not to mention the causes that have a magazine that will happily send you three concurrent copies rather than the three consecutive years that you intended.  

Then there’s the “survey” letters where they pretend to be soliciting your opinions.  Ha!  They are trying to echo-chamber your opinions and asking you for money to affirm them.  Then there are the incredibly weighted questions that cousin to your ignorance and bias.  So many “questions” sound like:  “Now that we know that moon landings cause hurricanes, are you in favor to defunding NASA?”  Republican Representatives use these a lot while trying to justify their attacks on straw men democratic policies and the mean, greedy policies that they propose which actually hurt their constituents.   

Then there is the snail mail “clickbait.”  No return address?

When the mail comes, if I see an envelope that has no indication of who has sent it to me; it goes into the trash unopened.  If you wish to be (mysteriously?) anonymous; I respect your anonymity; I choose to not see you.  

You’ve wasted your mailing$.    I don’t think I’ll play.