O.K., we’ve had a couple of “debates.”
The whole sorry mess has been chewed on by all media extant. Best summary of the whole sorry mess I’ve heard came from political pro, Paul Begala, who said it was “must flee TV.”
Like it or not, Trump’s still the President of these United States. The fact that he’s not a “play-by-the-rules” guy and acts/sounds like the school yard bully is because that’s what he is. He won’t change. But, there’s the dignity and importance of the office he so poorly represents. Cutting him off or arguing with him, as Savannah Guthrie did so well, may seem necessary at times, but he’s still the President.
To me, the storyline emerging so far was what wasn’t said. We’ve got about 50-million people on unemployment. There are many, many more who aren’t counted because they’ve been out of work so long. Anyone get a factual sense of what either candidate would do about the unemployed in these verbal “wrestling matches?”
How about disappearing jobs? The Census Bureau counts total jobs that have vanished since the first of the year at over 21-million. So 21-million unemployed folk have nothing to return to. Airlines, just this month, are laying off many thousands and eliminating those positions. Anyone hear either man say anything about that?
Afghanistan. I don’t recall hearing anything meaningful. We should have! Our longest war is sapping billions of dollars, killing our youth and no end in sight.
Our environment. What about it? Anything “in depth?” Any solid plans?
And a whole lot more.
In many ways, Trump’s belligerence is defining these shameful events. More than that, he’s redefining our government, our politics, our media, our economy, our markets, our very existence as a recognized democratic republic. Changed? Yes. For the better? Not!
Trump’s dominated our existence for four years by “sucking the air” out of every appearance and action. In so doing, he’s succeeded in changing the course of an entire nation. Not for the best, assuredly, but changed nonetheless.
He’s bullied, abused, badgered, threatened, lied about nearly everything. Constantly. With the able assistance of lackey Mitch McConnell, he’s moved our federal justice system to the far-right and is about to fill a Supreme Court vacancy with a nominee whose past judicial actions and personal beliefs will cause even a sharper rightward shift. Nearly all lifetime positions. (Edit note: I’d like to see term limits on federal judicial and SCOTUS appointments but that’s a story for another time.)
So, what do we do about it?
One of the forces endangering this nation is ignorance. Ignorance of what this country is, how government works, the structure of it, what it’s supposed to do, what we should expect from it, who’s responsible for its operation, where do we fit in, how do we exercise change, what do we do if it becomes unresponsive to our needs - as is the case now.
We’re bombarded daily with broadcast lies, continuing affirmation of “facts” that aren’t true. They’re spread by paid - make that “well paid” - folks who have their own agendas which may not, at times, be in the nation’s best interests.
Millions of Americans live in an alternate universe of phony “facts” - as we’ve seen with Trump - because those “facts” support what they think they know, reinforced regularly by fact-less media designed just for them. It’s become their comfort zone and whatever is different - even if based in reality - is rejected. Arguments do no good. Even real facts are useless.
This rejection of real facts has gone on for so long it’s become “institutionalized.” It’s produced a plethora of politicians who’ve injected this group ignorance into our political system, threatening our continued national existence which is - and must continue to be - based on facts. We have 13 professed QANON believers currently in Congress with more on 2020 ballots
All of that means the rest of us - those of us dealing with reality - have to continue to grow our number. We must educate ourselves - re-educate if necessary - in all phases of government and, when presented with an opportunity to do so, knock down the lies.
It can work.
Case in point. There’s a new movement among young evangelicals branching off from their elders. In many instances, that new direction is more earth and reality-based. They’re very concerned about our environment. They’ve taken up societal issues long ignored by older “believers.” If sustained, this new breed can grow and change the future direction of a religious philosophy which, in turn, can change the nation and even our politics.
There are ways - many ways - available to all of us to have an effect on what’s happening around us. We can change things that need changing. We can support what needs our support. We CAN make a difference.
Trump’s open disrespect for the duties of his high elected office, his contempt for law, his belligerence and ignorance in all things, his avoidance of rules, decorum, responsibility and personal conduct have been a national embarrassment. His “debate” antics were unsurprising. We’ve known, for some time, who he really is, how he thinks and acts.
Now, it’s time for us to act - to remove this unwanted player from the stage. We can - we must - in just two weeks.