Posts Tagged ‘politics’


May 17, 2017

If you’ve been trying to find out what’s going on in the world—you’re out of luck. You see, the media is preoccupied. In case you haven’t heard (and if not, you’d better stop binge drinking)…James Comey was fired.

There may be other important events occurring in this world of over 7 billion people, but none of them can hold a candle to this, the most significant of the present time—if the incessant media coverage is any indication. I thought perhaps it was just me agitating over the endless, redundant reportage and analysis of the firing of the FBI director by President Trump, an admittedly newsworthy but hardly earth-shattering event; but a recent poll documented that about a third of those asked had no opinion on the story. I don’t think the politicos and the journalists are in that camp.

I suppose it’s no surprise in an increasingly polarized political/ideological environment that this sort of psychosis will play out. The left, particularly Trump haters, believe or fervently want to believe that the president is in cahoots with Russia as this is the quickest and easiest route to impeachment, so spinning the firing as an attempt by Trump to smother the investigation is very attractive. The obvious about-face (you may recall a chorus of demands for Comey’s departure rang out after the Hillary email debacle) would be comical if it weren’t so disturbing. There were no complaints about Russia’s nefarious actions prior to Trump’s unexpected rally and win, as raising concerns of a tainted election would have been counterproductive to the anticipated Hillary rout.

In an Unraveling that precedes a Crisis, this type of behavior does serve a useful purpose: It plays nicely into the denial necessary to maintain the present degree of unstable equanimity. By avoiding the red-lining economic, cultural and societal issues that are being systemically neglected in the setting of a chaotic international scene, side issues provide cover for the fact that these failures have no simple solutions and may have progressed beyond the ability to reverse. Furthermore, many of the governing elite, media, and citizenry avoid it by not seeing it at all. The mindset, or the hope, is that “things are always like this, go up and down, and will eventually turn around.” This is actually true. However, a study of history reveals that these 80-100 year cycles “turn around” after a period of costly, deadly collapse and reset amidst a collective gasp of incredulity by the populace. And a positive final outcome is not preordained.

I used to see myself as a doomsayer. It’s true that the cries for a reversal of our present intransigence, for fiscal and personal responsibility and smaller government are more strident but are lost in an echo chamber of indoctrination for social justice and entitlement. Now I reserve my optimism for the post-Crisis reset: I still believe that there may be enough idealism left in America to rebuild the ethos that underpinned the foundation of this, the greatest experiment in human history.

I just wish the cure didn’t require electroconvulsive shock therapy.



June 4, 2012

Disregarding the radical fringe on either side of the political aisle, there is large segment of the electorate that is thoughtful, reasonable and informed that sees the world through different colored lenses.

This may be a “duh” moment, but for me it was starkly highlighted again yesterday during a polite but sometimes spirited family debate. My brother is intelligent, well-read and politically savvy. Although only a couple of years my senior, his interest in things politic antedated mine by many years—I remember a poster of then-presidential candidate John Kennedy hanging on our bedroom wall when I was in grade school.

During this highly unpublicized telephone debate he presented his arguments and I mine, neither of us expecting to convert the other. We had common ground on a few important points, agreeing that crony capitalism had to stop and Wall Street fraud must be more effectively policed. We agreed that a reboot of botched anti-monopoly regulation is sorely needed, and tax reform is long overdue. But when I told him that I believed the coming election is, to quote commentator Dennis Prager, a plebiscite on the nation’s ideology, he strongly disagreed. Instead, he began to attack Romney’s record and suggested I spend more time reading analysts willing to call both sides to task.

I don’t disagree that a balance of views is important; in fact, it’s the hallmark of a free society. But I submit that it’s not a question of defending Romney against Obama, or the bad behavior of any Republican against his or her Democratic counterpart. There are sinners in both camps. For me, it’s a question of a belief system—one based on the values that founded the nation versus a progressive agenda that leads us down the path that Europe is following, a road that veers left through a pass called social justice and opens on the cold moraine of frank socialism.

So my brother and others who share his views will continue to see the world as bluish green, and I as greenish blue, despite maps looking to define the country as blue or red. We see the same things and yet we don’t.

One of us must be color blind.


March 26, 2012

On February 1, Mitt Romney said he didn’t care about the poor. Of course, that’s not what he meant; he was taken out of context with a poor choice of words intended to convey the notion that safety nets for he indigent were already in place, and he was most concerned at the moment about the beleaguered middle class. His status as a multi-millionaire, however, painted a large political target on his back which his chief competitor du jour, Rick Santorum, wasted no time loosing a barb into. Romney spluttered for days trying to undo the damage.

On  March 19, Santorum, clumsily trying to underscore that his message was much bigger than one issue, said he didn’t care about the unemployment rate. The Romney campaign had its revenge, its captain proclaiming in no uncertain terms that the American public could rest assured that he, Mitt, cared. A lot.

Perhaps this illustrates why the support for the front-runner in the Republican race is, at best, lukewarm. My idea of a leader is some one who rises above the fray, the pettiness that clutters the political landscape before every election. Had Romney come forth with the statement, “I know my esteemed colleague just used a poor choice of words, as I did last month. Of course we all care about the poor and unemployed,” he would have garnered my respect. Worse than what the candidates’ behavior says about their character is what it says about their view of the American people: we’re too stupid to understand contextual speech.

Or … perchance I’m the dunce. I’ve heard many a political pundit describe how negative campaigning is very effective. Perhaps enough people follow the political process so peripherally that sound bytes taken out of context are at the heart of their decision-making. In which case the candidates, regardless of their inclinations, feel they must follow their campaign advisors’ warnings and ramp up this mindless sniping. Just once, I’d like to see a leader rise above it all, like a modern-day George Washington, and speak the truth we’d like to hear from men of honor. But George is long gone. In his place remains only a city honoring his name.

Sometimes I think he’d take it back if he could.


February 27, 2012

I’ve heard that several polls indicate that if the election were held today, Barack Obama would beat any of the Republican candidates. If true, this is compelling evidence for an electorate hungry to maintain the status quo. This seems illogical unless the majority believes one or more of the following:

  • Conservatives are all evil, greedy rich people bent on accruing more wealth at the expense of the downtrodden worker.
  • The president’s plan is solid and has only failed to produce results because he hasn’t gone far enough due to obstruction from the right.
  • As indicated by recent statistics, the economy has begun to turn around despite the failure to balance the budget, develop a workable plan to reduce the debt or revise the current tax system.
  • Government subsidies and redistribution trump concerns about debt accrual and “quantitative easing.”
  • Government sponsored crony capitalism can be offset by more aggressive attempts at wealth redistribution.
  • Without tight-fisted government control of the marketplace the world will be polluted or heated to extinction anyway so economic failure is a secondary concern.

I also suspect a significant proportion of the would-be Obama supporters are either marginally focused on the issues or craving normalcy to the point of engaging in wishful thinking.

A Republican president won’t guarantee success in turning this nation around. But a reelection of the current leader will be seen, with good reason, as a mandate to continue the current policies; policies which I predict will lead to a Greece-style disaster—with guns. So it’s more than an election—it’s a referendum on our dominant ideology.

While we get side-tracked with issues of contraception and abortion, it bears remembering that this is indeed the most consequential election in our lifetime. A baby conceived today will be taking its first breath at the moment in history we chart its future.


November 29, 2009

The new health reform bill vaulted its first hurdle this past week with the Senate vote permitting its debate. As those of you who have been following my rant know, I’ve been incensed by the headlong rush to dramatically reorganize 17% of the national economy in one fell swoop, rather than in a considered, deliberate manner over time. It has the acrid stink of the worst kind of politics. Every so often (all right, maybe more than that) someone says it so clearly there’s no way that I can do it better, so for your edification and convenience I provide the following link: 

I only hope that we can rein in those miscreants in Washington in time.