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Sunday, August 14, 2016

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion


May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

Part One

Interesting times; I am not exactly sure if the times we are living in are “interesting,” or merely absurd. Absurd is a fitting description for what is happening in our national life, but if I were to use words like sad or disturbing, bewildering or troubled, I would also be on good ground.

We are entering in to the final months of the presidential election, and nominee of the Republican party gets on television every day; standing in front of crowds, at large rallies, and enters into the most bizarre diatribe I have ever witnessed in our political life.

Bizarre, troubling, bewildering, disturbing, sad; these words only describe some of the feelings that I experience when I listen to this person speak. I do not find him interesting, but every speech he gives tears at the fabric of public discourse, and is destructive of the conventions every person must adhere to, if are going to live in a civil society.

Our way of life requires honesty, truth telling, agreement on the meanings of the simplest of things touching on our shared experience. Donald Trump, the T-rump, stands up every day and works to destroy those conventions. This week, over the course of several days, he stood in front of crowds, he got on television; declaring that our sitting President is the “founder” of the terrorist organization ISIS, with we are engaged in armed conflict. He stated that his opponent in the presidential election to be the co-founder of this organization. He stuck to these claims, repeating them, discussing his rationale (if you could call it a rationale) for these claims. Many of his allies tried to help him change this narrative, he refused their help. Several days passed before he finally succumbed to the public pressure he was facing. Early in the morning he sent out a message that he didn’t mean it, it was “sarcasm,” and then he hedged, “mostly sarcasm” he said, “mostly.”

The I didn’t mean it defense has been used by T-rump, repeatedly. The campaign cycle is littered with his bizarre exclamations, covered over by his even more bizarre explanations.

Now all politicians lie, bend the truth, spin the narrative, but the Republican candidate appears to live in a land of make believe, one that is completely divorced from the truth. He lies about his business acumen, his net worth, his charitable giving, his banking partners (foreign governments), his aliases, his manufacturing practices, the taxes he pays, his wife’s immigration records, her education and credentials, his draft deferments…He lies. He cons. He scams. He does not pay his bills. He engages in fraud, and this person has a very realistic chance of becoming the next President of the United States.

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