I’m a cynic–after all, I’m considered to be the founder of Cynical Philosophy–so what would you expect. However, cynicism is still a philosophical discipline, and like all the others, and seeks wisdom and truth.
After your presidential debacle debate, yesterday, I began to ponder an important question. What kind of person would follow Trump? What kind of person accepts routine lying, vengeance, and intimidation, etc.?
Biff always had three sycophants following him around. They didn’t have purpose or even thoughts of their own–they just followed Biff and did whatever he said. (Although in the final one, they did abandon Tannen when he would be going to jail.)
Those three followers explain Trump’s base better than anything else I’ve seen. Score one for the philosophical advantages of cynicism!
I watched the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, the various Chinese dynasties, The Huns, the British Empire, and dozens of other powerful nation-states. The decline of your United States is the fastest and most devastating yet.
Once a world leader, able to influence world affairs, you are now viewed as a pathetic joke.
Your Congress can get very little accomplished. Members prefer to make party-line speeches to the C-Span cameras rather than collaborate.
Your Senate is a rubber stamp that says, “Yes!” before the president has even asked the question.
The legislative vacuum has resulted in the courts becoming more powerful than ever was intended.
Your president views himself as an emperor, ruling by fiat. No one expects him to tell the truth. People fear his vengeance and many have suffered his Machiavellian wrath.
The day is coming when America, will be another historical has-been like Spain, Holland, and England—as people wonder, “Whatever happened to America?”
The most blatantly false television broadcasts (besides Fox News) are reality shows. The Real Housewives of [fill in the blank] dress like June Cleaver, act like they’re in Behind the Green Door, and lie like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. However, they cannot hold a black, sulfurous candle to the politicians on the air this week.
Here are some guidelines:
If something exists that is inconvenient–something like, say, 183,000 dead Americans due to coronavirus–just speak of it in the past tense as if it no longer exists.
If a foreign government has kompromat on you that could be used for blackmail, just say that the really important thing is that the leader of that government says nice things about you.
Don’t worry if dozens of your inner circle are in jail, under indictment, or convicted of crimes–after all you can (and probably will) commute their sentences.*
When in doubt, build the whole nominating convention around your wife, children, in-laws, sycophants, a few toadies, and if possible, some interesting puppets. (Too bad the Muppets weren’t available–at least they are entertaining.)
If you are dead set against immigration, feature your wife, a one time nude (aka porn) model who was allowed into the US under a so-called “genius” visa (Huh?? Say what??). PLEASE remember to keep her parents and other relatives who came in via chain migration out of sight.
And, most importantly, even if you’ve run the national debt to monumental levels, driven unemployment through the roof, stripped people of healthcare, and have the Foreclosure King as your Secretary of the Treasury as millions are at risk for losing their homes, tell everybody:
Only I can fix it!
*DO NOT pardon colleagues, toadies, and sycophants. If you do, they could tell the truth without the legal concern of self incrimination.
Ah, plagues! You may call them pandemics, but a disease that kills many people and leaves many others debilitated is a plague. Period.
The depiction of plague deaths in your Monty Python and the Holy Grail is not too terribly far off. Your refrigerated semi trailers are the twenty-first equivalent of the medieval cadaver carts. Plagues are nasty, no matter what the nobles, politicians, or even dictators try to tell you.
However, there is an interesting wrinkle about plagues that effects society at large.
Throughout history, when plagues kill off many workers, the powerful promulgate edicts and other pronouncements from on high to insist that the workers return to their former work at the same dismal wages that they received before the plague. These demands are largely ignored. Why?
When everybody loses workers to the plague,. other business owners, also desperate for workers, offer higher wages. (“You were given a loaf of bread every week? I’ll give you access to an oven and a bag of flour every month! Come to work today and I’ll spot you two beers a week at the local pub!”)
Regardless of the edicts and proclamations; regardless of the threats, the workers go to where the opportunity is better. (For academics, this is Adam Smith’s so-called invisible hand.)
So, today, you are in a similar situation. Do you learn from the past or do you merely repeat the same old, same old, behavior, yet again. You face a significant risk–or maybe a significant opportunity.
Those 165,947 Americans who died from COVID-19? Don’t worry about it. It’s all a Democratic hoax and fake news. If someone near and dear to you claims to be among those dead people, tell them to cut it out. It’s all fake.
Who are you going to believe–a doctor at the hospital or a president on the golf course?
Death is a fascinating subject, especially to someone who died over 2400 years ago. Been there, done that, still hang around my sewer.
Your COVID-19 Pandemic doesn’t compare to the Black Plague. During the historic plagues, it was advisable to avoid doctors, who were actually barbers. The best they had to offer was to cut open the veins of people who were already sick or injured to “let out the bad humours.”
Medical resources in your time are actually helpful, which makes every unnecessary death all the more egregious.
When I see so many unnecessary deaths; when I see unused resources; and when I see your president shrug it off as “They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is.”
I truly don’t know what to say–and I’m rarely at a loss for words.
Those who were subjected to the Black Death had no options.
You have science and technology. You actually know what to do.
What the hell is going on with you, with your knowledge, and your resources?
You’re willing to settle for “They are dying. That’s true. And you — it is what it is,”
In the musical 1776, one of the first offerings is John Adams bemoaning the lack of progress toward independency:
I do believe you’ve laid a curse on North America A curse that we now here rehearse in Philadelphia A second flood, a simple famine Plagues of locusts everywhere Or a cataclysmic earthquake I’d accept with some despair But, no, you sent us Congress. Good God, sir, was that fair?
Donald trump continues to parrot falsehoods about mail-in voter fraud, even though he routinely votes by mail.
The real issue is that trump finds voting to be too complicated for him to understand. First, the Golden Oldie video of him attempting to vote resurfaced [LINK]. His resolution? He completed a provisional ballot, the second cousin, twice-removed, of a mailed ballot.
Next, trump tried to register to vote in Florida while claiming his legal residence was 1600 Pennsylvania NW, Washington, DC. Somebody needs to explain to him that one needs to live in whichever state where they’re going to vote. (Try drawing a picture with a Sharpie.)
During this same time-frame, trump declared that he lived in Manhattan.
The latest wrinkle is that Trump claims his legal residence is at Mar-a-Lago. However, in 1990, he converted Mar-a-Lago from a residence to a club. Among the rules is that no club member can live at Mar-a-Lago for more than 21 days per year, spread over three non-consecutive trips. Not exactly a typical legal residence.
Donald trump has withdrawn the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, the Open Skies Treaty with Russia, as well as many other treaties that included Russia as well as other nations. NATO is now much weaker, presenting . Our relations with traditional western European allies are in disarray.
It seems like trump an Putin speak regularly. However, trump said earlier this week that he has never discussed the bounty that Russia is paying the Taliban to kill Americans.
So tell me, EXACTLY WHAT THE HELL DO THOSE TWO TALK ABOUT?