Wednesday, November 16, 2016

President Donald Trump & Why We MUST Destroy the Political Narrative

In the we(e) hours of 11/9 a country that has been advised by public figures to remember 9/11 found out that Donald Trump had won the election of the previous day. People began to see a new terror at play -- a man who would do everything he could to reverse the political gains of the left and who, through a sloppy mix of intent and ignorance, would create many enemies around the world. But it's not just the enemies he'll create which is of concern. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said that Trump, along with the presidents of Russia and Iran, is a "natural ally" -- a statement that can be seen as an indication that the next U.S. president will become part of a more organized terror network of national governments -- with the full blessing of the GOP.

Fact of the matter is that Trump is just a political figurehead whose election is symptomatic of everything that's wrong with the American system of governance as well as the political and electoral systems that determine who gains a seat in the Oval Office. So, while people are sure to use Trump's election as a point of reference, let's put and keep everything in perspective by recollecting the political environment that allowed for his ascent to the throne as well as the various steps of his folly-filled foray into politics -- a path that culminated in him winning by way of the electoral votes and in spite of Hillary Clinton having won the popular vote (which has brought some people to the realization that their votes don't count for anything).

Donald Trump and his campaign set forth a narrative that played to the feeble minds of those who seek a demagogue that will tell them what they want to hear -- even if those campaign promises can never be fulfilled in reality. Segments of the population that don't routinely come out to vote and who rarely watch or read any political news decided that it was worth their while to make that trek to their respective polling places to vote for someone who promised to bring back jobs that are actually gone forever, to build a wall that requires both the consent of Congress and billions of dollars that would be better spent assisting these same poor voters and to step up the "War [of] Terror (BY the U.S.)" that has already usurped well over a trillion dollars. These Trump-ites are only a half step above the Dixie-crats who voted against the social services that they themselves needed because such services would help Blacks.

The Trump-ites came out in droves to vote for someone who, if he has his way, will divert federal funds away from domestic concerns (like poverty in Appalachia) and toward blowing up the world which we'll then spend money rebuilding. Both groups voted against their own self interests. In the latter instance, it was due, largely if not solely, to disenfranchised people casting their angry votes for a demagogue who made promises that the average American knows can't be guaranteed or underwritten. The government's disinvestment in education has come back to bite us in the [be-donkey] by enabling stupidity in low places to vote dangerous stupidity into high places.

Now let's steer away from disparaging Appalachia or complaining about the phenomenon which some pundits are referring to as "White-Lash" -- if only for a short while. After all, the potential exists for Blacks, Appalachians and the homeless to coalesce around a demand that the federal government alleviate domestic poverty and dispossession with the funds that they are set to use for starting and stepping up wars around the world. Let's instead turn our attention toward the fact that, though most Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump was "selected" (not "elected") by the (s)electoral college. He was right in his assertion that the system is rigged. (A broken clock is right twice a day.) Ironically, the rigged system is what handed him the victory -- which makes him even less inclined to fix the rigged system than he was on November 7th. (Does anyone remember how Obama in 2012 wanted to rewrite the rules around drone use but backed off of that effort after beating Romney???) That's not to speak of the fact that Trump has begun to work within the same establishment that he railed against for a year and a half. (Candidates might soon begin campaigning for the next election the day after an election.)

Let's take this thing a step further: Barack Obama has backed off of his assertion that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president, going so far as to say that "campaigning for the presidency is not the same as being president" and that "this office [of the president] changes you". The president who played into the narrative that "America is ALREADY great" has unwittingly made a statement that lends itself to the notion that a presidential campaign is a bait-and-switch by its very nature. Maybe Obama is counting on the government-induced political ignorance and all-out stupidity of both Trump's "basket of deplorables" and of other poorly-educated subsets of Americans to keep people from realizing that a candidate changing once they become president (-elect) does in fact amount to being a bait-and-switch.

Consistent with his unwitting support for a blatant act of dishonesty, Obama has begun to work with Trump -- as anyone would expect him to do. We expect a sitting president from one major party to denigrate the candidate from the other major party and then to forgo all of his vehemently disparaging remarks once that candidate wins. This is democracy at work -- or "dumb-ocracy", if you ask me. (My statements here should not be seen as being anti-Obama, but rather as being anti-establishment in a much more sincere way than the president-elect was ever anti-establishment.)

I could go on for what would seem to be an eternity rambling about everything that's wrong with the American system. But, rather than continue my "diatribe of our democracy" in what would become an extremely unabridged post, let me make my primary point. 'We the people" can and should change the narrative of American politics. There are many ways in which we can change it. I won't attempt to enumerate them here and now. However, this much is clear: The common citizen can understand that a bait-and-switch is an act of dishonesty. The common citizen can understand that there is something fundamentally wrong with complaining about the rigged system and the establishment only to be voted in by way of that same rigged system and then to begin working with that very establishment. These few matters, in and of themselves, should be enough to give anyone who's paying attention pause -- and a cause. It should cause all Americans to reconsider the principles on which our systems of election and governance are founded and to ask if it might be necessary for us to reconstitute ourselves. It may come as a surprise to some; but, we the people can and should use the sense of principle that our parents gave us to critique the system and the various candidates who attempt to become or remain part of it.

I'll even go so far as to suggest a starting point for what will prove to be a very long and difficult thought process -- one that might exercise the minds of Americans much more than the supposed educational system ever could. Imagine, if you will, a land that has 300 million or so people and no government. That shouldn't be difficult if you live in the "Untied" States of America. Now imagine that all of these people begin to imagine the concept of governance in much the same way that the Israelites  did right before Saul was installed as their first king. (This is essentially what you are doing when you vote.) Now imagine what you would want this government that has yet to exist to do for its people. Your answers to this final question should guide your decisions about who you vote for. Unfortunately, too many of us allow the Constitution, lower laws and politicians' reactions to current problems to define our sense of morality and our ideas as to what the rights and duties of government should be. (Our government has given itself the right to put down any meaningful dissent while telling other national governments to allow it.) Let's begin to destroy the current political narrative and to develop a shared vision for America.

After all, at the end of the day we all want to be able to ensure that the basic human needs of all humans are met. The establishment of financial, political, governmental, employment and other systems springs from this most basic desire. Well-intentioned people often get lost in the sauce of bureaucracy and the minutiae of budget considerations and political division as they forget the basic good that initially drove them to take on their trade of profession of choice or to develop a movement. This truth has led to the anti-Trump protesters taking the same track as the "Occupy Wall Street Movement". In either instance these movements have butted heads with a system that is so plagued with problems that it leaves the sanest and smartest of us asking the salient question: "Where do we start fixing things??". Hopefully this blog post has helped to START answering that question.

Even if you don't find it helpful in that respect, don't worry. I'll write future posts that take us further down the path of reconstitution. It's worth noting that I initially thought about writing a post that begins to "change" the political narrative. I then determined that we need to altogether "destroy" the political narrative -- an idea I'll further explain in a future post. As yet another indication of my commitment to this purpose, I'm seriously considering using some of my meager means to fund a website that builds this conversation into something that the entire nation can coalesce around. I'll begin gathering input for that website very soon. VERY SOON.

STAY TUNED.

ericsheptock@yahoo.com
240-305-5255

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