The Uphill Slide

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Stop Watching the Game Show

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The great distracter. Those were not Bob Schieffer’s words on Charlie Rose from an interview broadcast on October 11, 2017. Just my interpretation of what Schieffer said about the race of Trump against other candidates who fell for his distractions. Trump made claims and statements and others wasted too much time responding. Defense vs. offense. Reactive vs. proactive. Always a step behind.

A poster at a storefront in Jamestown NY proclaimed “In Trump We Trust” and brought forth the word demagogue. Why such trust? There is nothing obviously similar in his background to mine or most people I know or meet in my life. In fact, there is little in his life to persuade me that any God would send him on this mission.

Trump’s rash statements according to one friend are simply because he’s not a politician. But he was. It’s the politics of business deals. Give ’em what they want. Tell ’em what they want to hear. Money, prosperity, jobs, the past, the future. In this race, his way of speaking was the novelty. It painted him as honest and down-to-earth. I’m attracted to novelty. But it’s the piece of clothing I only wear once or the activity I try and then abandon or the person who seems so attractive and becomes offensive. It’s hard to live with everyday. He was a very adept politician. He’s a people reader. He echoes them. He doesn’t always appeal to the best and says, “It’s OK”. He’s a politician. What he isn’t, is a statesman.

Schieffer explained his preference for covering the Congress over the White House as the difference between 50 bosses from all the states in Congress versus one boss in the White House.  Lots more stories in Congress. But the current White House, according to him, is a house of disorganization with many bosses and many stories. My friend went so far as to suggest that a military coup of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis has already taken place within the White House. And she’s OK with that because she believes they are only interested in military skirmishes and not nuclear war. They will keep the finger off the button. I’m not OK with that theory. Off the button. Yes. But not a military coup.

How did we end up with two undesirable candidates? Rose asked. I don’t remember Schieffer’s answer. Here’s my anecdotal answer to why Trump vs. Clinton ignoring the electoral college. Like that poster writer in Jamestown, some actually like, maybe love, Trump. But friends when asked why Trump, lobbed back, “Did you want Hillary?” What does that mean? That choice was less about issues and more about person or personality. And gender too. Another answer was, “I just couldn’t vote for a woman.” Not that woman, but a woman. Not because of the Clinton killers conspiracy theory or Whitewater or private emails. Gender. How long have women been voting for men? Do we say, “I can’t vote for man.” Not very many. We say, “I can’t vote for that man.” So if your vote for Trump was the lesser of two evils, then you too should be watchful and wary and questioning of authenticity and veracity.

The candidate is now the President and still the great distracter. Call attention to the military and patriotism to distract people from the message of the NFL players. He successfully ignored the issues and whipped up a frenzy of ‘true patriots’. He started a feud with the mayor of San Juan and even had the FEMA director dissing Yulín Cruz. Then he threw paper towels like some game show host trying to inject an absurdity into disaster. He suggested that a number (deaths) can measure pain and devastation. If you’re the one whose loved one died, can you feel the difference between 1 and 1000 deaths.

The President is making himself the show. He is providing entertainment and using us for distraction. And there is nothing more entertaining to me than watching him twist his arm out of the socket to pat himself on the back. But I’m going to stop watching the game show and turn to the news and try to gather facts.

 

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