Sunday, December 22, 2019


Every time I see my eye doctor, the first thing they do is to examine my basic vision.  I sit there hoping for something close to 20-20. OK, it never hits 20-20 any longer, but still I am coming close.  But now, we are entering a new world, the world of 2020. Maybe this will be like an eye exam for the world.  In the US, we will be casting ballots for a new president, Number 46.  Regardless of what happens in the Senate trial of Trump, we know for near certain that Mitch will not allow anything close to an actual fair trial. He will cook the proverbial books and produce the result he has already announced—Innocent of the charges.  He has already announced that Trump is innocent of all charges.

And then the real games begin.  We will proceed to the voting places assigned to us, and cast our ballots for President and for a variety of other folks and issues.  So, 20-20??? But what does that mean, actually? A person with 20/20 vision can see what an average individual can see on an eye chart when they are standing 20 feet away,”  And in the context of voting??? Well, I think that 20-20 means that we would see the world for what it is. In the case of Trump, we would see that he is a deeply flawed human, who has devoted most of his life to cheating people with whom he comes into contact.  He is immoral, unethical, incompetent in virtually every endeavor he has attempted. He ignores his responsibilities to people he has contracted to help him in some way, and he lies almost every time he utters language out of his mouth.  Whenever he accuses someone of doing something unethical, it is almost a certainty that he is either already engaging in such conduct, or is planning to do so.

We know those things for a certainty about Trump, because his behavior has been well documented.  His multiple marriages, his multiple bankruptcies, his fake enterprises, his casual approach to charitable giving are all well documented and he has been caught out in each of these issues.  These are not “deep state” thoughts, provided by unsavory characters seeking to undermine our government. They are well documented facts on the public record.  So, if you refuse to acknowledge the facts about Trump, then we would have to conclude that your mental “eyesight” is deeply flawed.
But the central question of our age, indeed THE QUESTION for 2020 is, “Why would you not reject Trump for President in 2020?”

1.       Racism: I always thought that Ronald Reagan had made it ok again to be a racist, with his chanting about “welfare queens”. But Reagan never had so many opportunities as Trump to demonstrate his racism. Trump and his family, going back to his father, have practiced racism in their apartment ownership for decades, mainly in the “who can and cannot occupy their dwellings?’ But his border mania perhaps reveals his racism best. He sees only one side to the border—people of color seeking to gain access to our country without his permission. The fact that they are fleeing homicidal gangs is irrelevant to him. He sees only poor folk of a different color, trying to ruin his image of a pure white America. Now, to be fair, his entire approach to our border seems to be dictated heavily by Stephen Miller who is a classic Neo-Nazi.  We have almost literal concentration camps on our southern border, in which children and others are held captive, and some of whom are dying at our hand.
F     Fraud: Trump University has been held to be a fake university, meaning it is a Trump initiated institution of higher learning that is not real and is intended to cheat its students. Similarly, the Trump Foundation seems to be a front for Trump’s personal financing.  He recently had to pay a fine of several million dollars for fraudulently using the charity’s funds for his own personal use.

3.       Marriage Failures: We all are aware of marriage failures. Many of our friends have been in failed marriages. But in Trump’s case, he has been involved in three marriages, all of which he has managed to trash by cheating on his wives with other women.  So, when he said that “Till death us do part”, he must have been suppressing a laugh.  He even had to pay off another porn star, so she wouldn’t spill the beans to Melania.  So, he cannot be believed even at level of a marital vow, or numerous marital vows. He even bragged on TV about how he liked to “grab’m by the pussy”, just cuz he was famous.

4.       Lying: Trump has been documented by numerous independent sources of lying publically, while occupying the White House Office of the President.  We may have lost count, but I stopped looking at the count of over 13,000 lies, just since he has been in Office.  So, his supporters don’t care that he lies as a matter of normal discourse?  The problem with his lying is that, in transactions with Congress, with policy officials, and, most importantly, with other foreign dignitaries, no one can or should believe anything he says. Now, if that is true, then how/why would anyone engage in serious policy discussions with him?  If you truly cannot rely on anything he says, then how/why would you ever agree to anything he proposes?  Now, if you’re a banker, that poses one kind of problem. But if you are engaged in discussions of nuclear disarmament, you are left with a more serious problem.  So, as a serial liar, he is totally useless in any policy discussion.

5.       Ignorance: Much has been made of Trump’s essential ignorance of almost any subject. His six bankruptcies even testify to his ignorance about how to run a business. He failed to make money operating a gambling casino for God’s sake. Apparently, he has engaged in a very large fraud case regarding his education, claiming degrees and graduations from places from which he did not graduate. But what actual education he received seems very far from clear. Because he seems so ignorant about so many subjects, one can only wonder whether he received any actual formal education at all.  Did daddy pay for someone to sit in classrooms in his name?? Surely not, we would like to think. But????

There is more, but I tire of reciting these known flaws in a deeply flawed individual.  Even his supporters know these things. But somehow, somehow . . . they are able to ignore those known flaws, and known corrupt character and still cheer for him.  I am not sure why/how this is possible. Thinking about Nixon and Clinton, both impeached, I was always able to at least understand why and how folks were able to reconcile the known flaws and still go on to support them. But Trump is so awful, his positives so few, startlingly few actually, that I am drawn to explanations that themselves border on evil. His supporters include surely, all the membership of the KKK, and the entire membership of the various Neo-Nazi cults. But then I begin to run out of gas.  Oddly, I assume that he gets some support from people he despises—the working poor. This is a group of folks who play out life in what is known colloquially as the “under classes”, people who lack the education or the training to get the nicer paying jobs our economy offers. They tend to be angry, because life is passing them by, and they resent those who did get an education or training. Trump has no use for such people, since his entire life has placed him in the very upper classes they hate.  So, why do they seem drawn to Trump? I think because he lies to them. He tells them he will make them Great Again. He makes fun of the people who represent the middle classes up above them, and so these unhappy people love him for that.  I remain unclear whether any Democrat can appeal successfully to such folks.

But all this is a part of our upcoming eye exam. Will we collectively test out in November at 20-20, or will we send Trump back into the White House, thereby displaying a vision of perhaps 20-100, near blind.

The entire future of America rests in the hands of our people come November, 2020.  If our vision fails, then America fails along with it. Think of our upcoming test at the polls as a driving test, in which the Nation is careening down a very curvy and steep hill, with a sharp curve next to a precipitous cliffside at the bottom, one we cannot see adequately until we arrive at the curve’s beginning. Whether we slow down, think more carefully about what we are about on this scary highway, or just plunge ahead, we will see. Our future is to be determined.

Look, Think. Facts matter, so read the facts. Skip the talking head-idiot malenfants (think Fox News) who want us to careen ahead.

Oh, and have a Merry Christmas, and a safe and Happy New Year celebration.  We plan to stay home, and dine on:
Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, Swedish meatballs, and sautéed clams on the half shell. We will pop open a bottle of nice Champagne, and we will turn on our DVD so we can again (50th time??) watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman play out Casablanca, in the most romantic movie ever made.  Maybe we’ll even watch the ball drop in Times Square.

Happy happy . . .

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