Last night I decided to watch, in total, the positioning of Donald Trump, and the responses from Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer. I did watch every minute of the presentations.
A few hours later came Just Above Sunset, which summarizes points of view from the pundit class about pertinent issues of the previous day. You can read the summary, about “The Wall”, here. The e-mail following ‘Sunset’ was the morning opinion section of the Washington Post which, this morning, included six commentaries about the previous evening, only one of which gave the advantage to Trump; another one which fact-checked his every assertion. This President is incapable of telling the truth, or negotiating in good faith, but to his admirers, that doesn’t seem to matter.
Mid-morning we went to the local indoor walking track, as I work at re-conditioning after recent heart surgery. We were finishing the first lap of the perimeter when a man passed us by, and in passing commented on Trumps wonderful speech a few hours earlier. I disagreed; the man reemphasized his support for Trump, and distaste for Democrats, and life went on. It was a “life is too short” moment.
The incident got me to thinking of a similar encounter in late winter 2014. I was in rural ND, and stopped by to see my Uncle’s tax man. A forlorn looking man had just come out of the same office and apparently had just received some bad news about his personal tax situation. I had no idea who the guy was, and I suspect the same was true for him, about me. Just two individuals whose paths had crossed on a wintry morning.
The guy did volunteer an opinion: that Hillary Clinton should be in jail, presumably for causing him tax problems. He was very specific. She was the named perpetrator. I was a stranger on the scene.
I said nothing. It did occur to me that at the time, Hillary Clinton, had no policy position relating to tax policy or enforcement. She had been U.S. Senator from New York for eight years (2001-2009), and certainly could have voted on tax policy but that was about it. She had been Secretary of State from 2009-2013 in the Obama administration, and by 2014 was certainly interested in running for the presidency. But that was about it.
Somehow that guy had been convinced that Clinton was his sworn enemy – without evidence.
Last night, apparenly, Trump worked his dark magic once again with the rube who expressed his opinion to us at the sports center.
I heard every minute of Trumps declarations; I had read the fact check analysis of his assertions about The Wall and the desperate need for it. As always with Donald Trump, “smoke and mirrors” prevailed. Nonetheless, as is commonly noted, as many as 40 percent of Americans believe his claims – lambs to the slaughter. “Facts” matter only to the extent that the assertions are believed. Reasoned argument is a waste of time.
About all I could do this morning at the indoor track was to do what I did – disagree with the assessment and wish the guy a good day. About the best I could hope to accomplish was to at least cast a slight doubt in the guys mind; perhaps causing him to think a bit before he makes the same kind of assertion again to the next mark. I won’t change him into a champion of critical analysis, but perhaps I can have a little impact, anyway.
UPDATE 6 a.m. Jan. 10: Here’s the newest Just Above Sunset, “The Sheer Force of His Mighty Will” . Today is the presumptive visit to “The Wall” by Trump; and absent some miraculous development, the first official day of no U.S. federal paycheck to hundreds of thousands of government employees is tomorrow.
This brings to mind, “The Emperor Has No Clothes”. A bully who negotiates through the “strength” of a bully is a terrible, impotent and dangerous negotiator. I hope the American people, who elected this person, remember this at every future election for every office, anywhere. We get exactly what we ask for.
A Thought: During my hospitalization my good friends, the Krisch’s, gave me a book “A Nation of Nations, A Great American Immigration Story” by Tom Gjelten. I have not yet opened the cover, but certainly will as the book seems very interesting and pertinent. Do check it out.