The more I practice mindfulness, the more I begin to recognize the irrationality of so many people, in particular as it comes to politics. This isn’t to say that I’m not prone to my own irrational behavior. I’m pretty sure that I engage in it almost everyday.
However, practicing mindfulness is almost like being a mutant learning a superpower at the Xavier Institute. I say this because mindfulness lets you objectively look at your behavior, the behavior of others, and if you are really good stop yourself from doing dumb shit.
But most people I encounter are not mindful nor have the interest to become so. Which sometimes is frustrating to see. In particular, when it comes to Trump, and how dishonest they are willing to be to justify their support of him as president.
Of course it doesn’t help, that they ape the talking points they see on Fox News. I’ve heard people on more than one occasion, including people I care about, say they wish people would just let the Russian thing go. A perilous proposition, that people now think something so potentially treasonous should go unpunished.
I’ve tried so hard to not invoke Godwin’s Law on this blog, that law being that the longer a conversation goes on the more likely the comparison to Hitler will be invoked. Also, I hate invoking the law because my knowledge of World War II is beyond simple, and perhaps barely extends past my high school history class.
To think though that Russian hacking of an election, and possible collusion by the president shouldn’t be considered a big deal. If this isn’t a big deal, then what is?
Consider this, the Trump administration has already attempted to censor dissent towards his campaign. It has attempted to gain the identity of a Twitter user who was critical of the presidents administration. He also fired FBI director James Comey for doing his job.
The Hitler comparison is becoming easier to make.
Now Reality Winner has been arrested for leaking NSA documents showing Russian hacking of voting machines. No doubt there will be people online saying she broke the law therefore she should be arrested. Yes, I agree, yet that argument is very simple. It ignores the much bigger issue. Now the Russian hacking claims have some real weight behind it. Republicans kept saying they wanted the evidence, well here is some goddamn evidence.
However, the words of The Atlantic editor David Frum continue to echo through my mind. In particular, his most recent interview with Sam Harris. Speaking on Trump, Frum said in no uncertain terms that he believes even if proven guilty Trump will continue to be our president. Best case scenario Trump is stripped of the presidency, and Mike Pence takes over, the world wide reputation for our country has been damaged. The repairs might take decades to fix.
Even in the infancy of his presidency, I was concerned by the effect this would have on the United States soft power. A thing that I believe most arm chair political pundits on social media don’t consider. Him being adversarial towards everyone who calls themselves our ally was disconcerting.
noun: soft power; plural noun: soft powers
- a persuasive approach to international relations, typically involving the use of economic or cultural influence.
However, aside from being an asshole, he has now made some very awful policy decisions. His decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement for one. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson thought this was a bad idea, and Tillerson was a former CEO of Exxon Mobile. It isn’t just what the agreement stood for on paper that made the agreement important. It also stood for a certain amount of global cooperation.
On Fox News, they like to point out that countries like China, India and Russia were paying $0 into a climate fund, whereas the U.S. is paying or going to pay $1 billion over a course of so many years. However, the logic baffles me, even if the amount our country paid was unequal to those two countries, I wasn’t aware that we were competing to be exactly like China, India or Russia.
In fact I thought we wanted to be better than those countries, not be second or third place to the rest of the world. It all goes back to soft power, and being mindful of the broader implication of what exiting the Paris Agreement means. We damage our reputation, and will make it harder to work with other countries on future projects.
Maybe government shouldn’t be in the business of funding green energy research. However, if that is the case, then it also shouldn’t play favorites to the coal industry. An industry that is dying, and employs less people than the fast food chain Arbys.
If you look at history there is always an awkward transition period between the old and new technologies. Just look at the history of the horse drawn carriage and the automobile as an example. It is unfortunate that very real people lives are affected during this time, but it is inevitable nonetheless. I would hate to be the one to tell this to coal miners, but their services are no longer wanted, needed or even really necessary.
The coal industry decline has been happening for a long time now, this isn’t anything new.
If he is so concerned about jobs in America, then why not be concerned about all the truck driving jobs that will be lost to autonomous (driverless) vehicles. However, he has yet to turn his ire towards this emerging technology. Up until very recently though Elon Musk had been an advisor to the president, and his company Tesla Motors has been a leader in autonomous vehicle technology. Coincidence or a complete lack of awareness on Trump’s part? You be the judge.
Even with truck drivers in my family I still want autonomous vehicles. Mainly, because I can see the greater good that can come from a widespread adoption of them.
The scope of what Trump does is often myopically viewed through a very narrow lens by his supporters. These are also the very same supporters who would probably have no problem criticizing Barack Obama if he was making similar decisions.
Frum in his conversation with Harris said even acknowledges this, and Frum is a Republican. He was George W. Bush’s speech writer. As much as he hated Barack Obama, he couldn’t offer any real dispersion on the man’s character. The two men didn’t see eye to eye, but Frum admits that Obama was a very reasoned human being. He even hates that he voted for Hillary Clinton, but even he sees what a horror show Donald Trump would and has president has become.
For most presidents it takes decades before people can fully appreciate the person, or come to a definitive conclusion as to whether a person did a good or bad job. Presidents are flawed just like the rest of us, and some of their bad behavior can be discounted because it was the norm at the time.
With Trump, we are witnessing in real time the making of the worst president this country has ever seen. His behavior isn’t a product of the current time, in fact it is completely abnormal, so the same excuses can’t be made for him. Every horrible and unethical thing is completely on display for the world to see thanks to his constant tweeting.
It has gotten to a point where Trump has actually transcended politics. He has become religion. People put their faith in this man despite the obvious faults in not only his character but his decisions making. When L. Ron Hubbard died he said that he would be reincarnated. Well obviously Trump would be too old for that, but both men were/ are complete maniacs, and both have congregations of people willing to do shitty things in his name. Just saying there are similarities…
I know I alluded to the fact that this man is like Hitler, but Hitler was a cultist just like LRH and Trump. He stirred masses of people to believe in an idiotic ideology, and most people were so caught up in the energy of the movement they failed to realize they were endorsing some very bad ju ju.
Extreme acts of aggression and racism have been committed in his name, and yet these extreme actions continue 100 days after he was made president. People fear terrorist extremism, but fail to see that Trump encourages extremism as well on a domestic level.
Even when he completely contradicts himself people eat it up. He does this all the fucking time. It is just like so many people that purport to follow a religious code. They do crazy or shitty things in the doctrines name, and completely misinterpret something so simple as “love thy neighbor as thyself” into “burn all gay people.” I say this as a person who generally hates religion, especially the Abrahamic ones.
But hey at least he is against abortion.