Monday, October 24, 2016

What Does Breitbart America Look Like?

Image result for Hillary Clinton                  Image result for Donald trump

The longer this campaign goes on, the more of a disconnect there seems to be between the right and the left. The polls, for instance. The legit polls, at least the ones I think of as legitimate although Trumps fans believe they are rigged in Hillary's favor, all agree that she currently has a huge lead nationally. This would be the mainstream media - the main networks, the top newspapers, respected polling groups like 538, Quinnipiac, Marist, etc. - known as the lamestream media to conservatives. Yet, if you go to Breitbart and some of the other right-leaning sites, it is a completely different story. They show maps that indicate Donald Trump's total domination of the electoral college. Instead of losing or even being close in the swing states, they show Trump crushing Hillary.

And their followers believe it with all their hearts. I'm on the Hillary side but I'm still careful not to be overly complacent. I almost never predict, not just in politics but in anything else. I'm afraid I'll jinx my team so I'm cautious even when all signs point to a victory. I never cheer until the last lap or the last batter is out or the last election results are in.

Not the Trump people. They have not the tiniest hint of a doubt. Are they so enclosed in their bubble, they don't even realize the polls are so divergent? Is it a strategy on the part of the alt-right so that when Donald loses, his fans won't believe it? It is a planned tactic to cause conservative Americans to lose even what bit of faith they still have in our system? And why would anyone want to accomplish this?

And while this is going on, the allegations about Hillary become more and more fantastical. She had Antonin Scalia killed (I can't even keep track of how many deaths they think she is responsible for). She literally funded ISIS. She is going to institute Sharia law as soon as she takes all our guns. She going to jail as soon as.....well, whatever. But maybe she won't even live to be put behind bars because she has a brain tumors, Parkinson's and a host of other debilitating and/or terminal ailments. All these come in the way of breathless, screaming headlines as if they are some new revelation we haven't heard before. (BENGHAZI!!!!!) Right-wing evangelical ministers prostitute themselves by urging us to believe that God himself wants Trump to win.

The purveyors of this nonsense have to know that what they are writing isn't the truth so why do they do it? Do they want to stoke the anger that is bound to come when all these fervently-hoped-for predictions don't pan out? Will the Trump folks turn on those that lied to them or will they believe they've been screwed out of what was rightfully theirs once again? Unfortunately, my guess is the latter.

What I don't understand is what their end game is. I've always thought of myself as a Democrat-leaning moderate (although conservative friends now tell me I'm a bleeding heart, koolaid-drinking liberal). I'm in the mold of Hillary Clinton. I think we need improvements but I also believe you have to be willing to compromise to achieve progress (that's assuming your opponents will compromise with you and considering the obstruction President Obama has faced, I have my doubts about that).

So, I truly don't understand what the other side wants. I don't know what the America they see after they "take it back" looks like.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Agent Orange

                                                  Image result for Donald Trump

I hardly even know what to say about this election any more. I start to write about something, the last debate for instance, and before I can compose my thoughts, they are overtaken by the latest round of events.

At this point, I simply think of Donald Trump as Agent Orange, a poisonous herbicide meant to defoliate vast sections of America's entire democracy. Our system of government only works if the great majority of citizens respect it's tenets - the will of the people, the honesty of our elections, the integrity of most of its leaders, the truth of our media, the honor of our scientists, the decency of our businesses - the superiority of our system depend on the strength of these foundation posts. One by one, Donald Trump is undermining all of them.

Are there charlatans and liars and cheaters among us? Of course, we can always find those few examples but are they a small minority of the whole? Yes, I truly believe they are. I think most Americans are good people, be they democrats or republicans. I think most of our politicians try to live up to their campaign promises. I think most journalists try to write the truth. I think most businesses try to give value to their customers. I don't think our elections are rigged.

Donald Trump didn't start this. It started with Obama....or maybe even Clinton. Somehow people on the other side came to believe that if they couldn't win by voting, it was their right to win by other means - impeachment or weakening a president who gave them no cause. Claiming he was not an American or not a Christian, accusing him of treason. It was more than simple disagreement - they fed on loathing and it grew and grew. At the same time, they decided their own government was evil.

It all came to a head with Trump. The ultimate weapon against what America had always been, spraying his enraged venom in all directions, infecting millions of his fellow citizens with the virus of hate.

And win or lose, what will the aftermath be?  Land denuded by Agent Orange doesn't come back in a season. I don't think America will come back from the toxicity of Donald Trump for a long time.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Boys Will Be Boys - "Boys" Being the Key Word

Image result for soldiers partying

My husband was a Vietnam veteran and so were most of his closest friends. They could be, and often were, rude and crude and lewd. Those boys used all the words that Donald Trump said in his latest recording and probably some he'd never heard of. They rarely spoke a sentence that didn't contain the ever-utilitarian "f" word - noun, verb, adjective, adverb, etc, etc. Sometimes, it was just there for the sake of being there. "Fuck, yes," or "fuck, no". Among their buddies, being called a cocksucker or a motherfucker was a term of endearment.

And they certainly weren't above being raging sexists, especially when they were drinking. They'd smack their lips when a pretty girl went by and say, "Jesus, I'd like to tear me off a piece of that." Or, ask, "I wonder if her pussy is as blonde as the hair on her head?" Or, moaning, "oh, Cunt, come here to Papa!" Yep, they were boorish and coarse, no getting around it.

But, here's the difference between them and Donald Trump. With them, it was all fantasy. It really was boisterous bragging, or locker room talk, if you will. They never acted on it. They had no power or glamour or celebrity to make any of those desires happen, so the only women they would ever "screw" or "fuck" or "get a piece of ass from" were those who were willing. And even then, the gross talk in front of their buddies was probably not at all the approach they would use face-to-face with a female.

And here's the second thing, most of them were in their 20's when I first knew them and not long back from war. By the time, they were in their 30's and 40's and beyond, the filthy talk had begun to abate. Most of them were married by then and had kids. I'm not saying they gave up the "f" word altogether or that they didn't still make sexual innuendos about a woman among their friends but mostly, they grew up and got over it.

The young men in this picture did what they did to support Prince Harry of England, who himself is somewhat prone to scandal, like allowing nude pictures of himself to show up in the tabloids. But Harry is young and handsome and buff and still sowing his wild oats so perhaps we can forgive him his lapses in judgment.

And you know what else? Some in Britain may disapprove but they can't do anything about it 'cause Harry is a prince. They have no choice in the matter because you don't elect a prince. Prince's don't need votes but presidential candidates do.