“Present!”

It’s no wonder that throughout history, people have dreamed of a Messiah who would be a great political and military leader who would straighten out all the problems with nations, governments, politics, etc. Those of you who are Christian know that such is not the way it works.

Vote tally: How senators voted on GOP health care motion ...

In the current situation in Washington, DC, the expectation is that political expediency (aka–how do I get re-elected?) easily trumps honesty, ethics, or even self respect. Regardless of anything else, it is virtually guaranteed that there will be an acquittal of your president. Any Republican who votes for impeachment will suffer greatly; they will end up without the prestige and power to which they have become accustomed and be forced to find–and work at–a real job.

However, will their constituents see things the same way? If the Senate allows neither witnesses nor evidence, what will the outcome be next election? Here are several issues to consider:

  • How many voters in the last presidential election voted AGAINST Hillary Clinton as opposed to FOR Donald Trump?
  • While there are vocal supporters of Donald Trump and some for other candidates, given how contentious politics have become, many people do not speak about their views–it’s too socially risky. What will they do in the voting booth?
  • It has been posited that if the Senate’s vote was by secret ballot, the outcome would be very different from what is generally expected. What does this mean?

I suggest a radical response.

If a Senator fears retribution, but whose honest assessment of the testimony calls for breaking with the party, vote “PRESENT”. If challenged, that senator can explain that neither side presented an overwhelming preponderance of guilt or innocence.

Suggest that to your elected officials. They’ll ignore it, of course, but recommend it anyway.

Honesty

Honesty was once valued.

Abraham Lincoln was known as Honest Abe. While the story of young George Washington chopping down the cherry tree is not believed to be true, his admission of guilt because “I cannot tell a lie!” was demonstrative of the value of honesty.

Today, it would be appropriate to relegate Washington and Lincoln to the dustbin of history. Perhaps in their stead we could use Warren G. Harding as an inspiration.

Warren G. Harding by Margaret Lindsay Williams
Oil on canvas, 1923 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

You, Me, and Them

Being that I live in a sewer and am known for my lack of hygiene, I don’t often get out to the movies and they won’t install cable for me. However, I have subscribed to Netflix, so I can see movies and television shows, although they’re what you used to call “reruns”.

As I watch the political goings on, I am struck by the mob mentality. Mob might be a bit strong, but I believe someone once called it group-think. The phenomenon is that members of a group tend to surrender their individuality in order to fit in. Instead of using critical thinking and logic, they go with the prevailing opinion of the group.

The reason I mentioned Netflix is because I can’t say it better than how it was explained in Men in Black:

J: People are smart.

K: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

God and Trump

MIAMI β€” In his first public appearance since the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran, President Trump rallied his evangelical Christian base of supporters on Friday, portraying himself as the restorer of faith in the public square and claiming that God is β€œon our side.” (MSN.com)

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I wonder:

  1. If God contacted Trump personally
  2. If Trump is dictating what he expects God to do
  3. If Trump made the announcement without God being consulted

The Power of Hate and Fear

Throughout history, one of the most popular–and effective methods for gaining power and influence has been to use hate and fear. People will unite against a threat better and faster than uniting in support of an ideal. Oftentimes the hate was aimed at a minority with claims that “they” were controlling wealth. “They” were a threat to everyday people. “They” would soon take over.

One group who were cast as “they” were the Jews, and not just by Hitler in the twentieth century. The middle ages are rife with similar examples. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan not only targeted Blacks, but also Jews and Catholics. “They” were different and if “they” gained power, “they” would upset the status quo.

Are the Jews being targeted again, today?

This isn’t fear of a group as much as it is fear of change. People often say, “The only constant is change.” Their mouths say those words, but neither their minds nor their hearts accept it. Their stance is, “You can have my perception of reality when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.” The more warped the perception, the more fiercely they defend it.

In the meantime, they happily suspend reality and hold on to false beliefs–beliefs based on unfounded fear and undeserved hate. People defend their egos from bruising by lying to themselves. They use whatever means necessary, including, murder, theft, lies, and the other tools of hate.

If there is one person one should be honest with, it is one’s self.

 

 

No Place Like Home

diogenes_04

 

If you ever read about me you know that history claims that I lived in either a sewer or a large pot. Trust me, it was a sewer. If you live in a large pot, before too long, it becomes a sewer.

However, that was my choice. After all, I was a legitimate and, in fact, esteemed philosopher. I am credited with being a major force in developing the philosophical discipline known as cynicism. Me, being a cynic, suspect that you don’t believe that.

Observing events in your time, I must admit it adds great credence to the importance of the cynical philosophy. In fact, while every age needs a certain amount of healthy cynicism, your age will never be cynical enough.

But I digress.

I was thinking, after seeing political, social, and religious interactions over the past decade, how I am perfectly adapted to live in this time. If I had lived in your here and now, I would have readily eschewed my desire to find an honest man. It was a fool’s errand in my time, and today, um, well . . . .

Today, it is often not the person with a powerful title who has power; the power is frequently wielded by those who whisper in the leader’s ear–those once called the powers behind the throne.And, indeed, a throne it is.

If I lived in this day and age I could . . . .

No. Never mind.

I miss my sewer.

Psychological Projection

Your president tweeted* about a young lady who has taken a stand in favor of protecting the environment.

Apparently, she has admitted to Aspbergers, a “disorder” that often afflicts brilliant scientists, engineers, and computer programmers and allows them to focus intently on their work. However, the ability to focus on one thing often makes social interaction challenging. (“Sorry about not engaging in small talk–I’m trying to understand a quantum mechanics algorithm.”)

The president’s tweet said, “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!”

She should take his advice to heart–after all, this advice comes from an individual who has significant experience with anger issues as well as extreme difficulty interacting socially.

I guess she did. Her reply? “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”

Problem solved?

 

 

* Are those who use Twitter, Twits?