Saturday, April 1, 2017
Word Count – 941
I suspect that Russia’s actions in the 2016 presidential elections had two goals:
– to elect someone that the American media and the American people would obsess over to the detriment of everything else and
– to elect the most disqualified candidate, someone who would discredit American creativity, American ingenuity and America’s place in the world.
And Russia succeeded, beyond its wildest dreams.
The Trump Family: I believe that there is a financial connection between the Trump empire and the Russian oligarchs; and I believe that the Trump empire is built on laundered Russian money. The Trump family company and the Trump narrative seem like the saga of the mythical Corleone family. (Is Ivanka the latest iteration of the godfather daughter?)
The Trump story may be a snap-shot of America at the beginning of the 21st century, but the value of this image, is to point to the clash of empires that we are living through. By interfering in the 2016 presidential election, the Russian empire, led by Vladimir Putin, declared war with the American empire. And the first salvo of this digital war began a year ago.
Since January of 2016, Americans have been drowned by a tidal wave of orange-haired media vomit. Leslie Moonves, the CBS executive chairman and CEO, said about candidate Trump – “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Fortunes are being made in the wake of this monsoon. CNN, MSNBC have seen their audience-share skyrocket. Rachel Maddow is winning her time-slot against FOX-News. The media circus is so pervasive that TV is now exclusively Trumpland. As a country, we seem perfectly willing to forget about everything and to watch Donald J. Trump’s every move. How long will it be before we get news reports on of The Donald’s bathroom schedule? Let’s not forget Versailles and The King’s Lever. (Louis XIV, 18th century – left image)
We are living in a time when Washington politics have become reality-TV. Forget Dancing with the Stars, forget Survivor, forget The Kardashians, we now have Trump-TV 24/7.
And what is most disturbing about this digital rot, are the stories of Trump voters who are asked if they have buyer’s remorse. In the elite newspapers and cable channels, these reports have an underlying tone of glee that Trump voters are getting screwed; an almost serves-you-right for voting for the buffoon attitude. When did we stop thinking of the voter, who didn’t vote like me, as other; as someone worthy of my scorn, as someone worthy of my vengeance? These are fellow Americans who saw in the Democratic candidate a disdain for working people; who saw in the Democratic candidate someone more interested in transgenders than the struggling working-class. The pox that will befall the poor, the working-classes is one of the tragedies of Trump America. The Great Famine of 1845 happened in a land owned by the greatest empire of the time. Thirty miles east, the British empire was drowning in wealth and yet its Irish subjects were starving to death. Our country is rich beyond compare, the Trump administration is made up of one-percenters, and yet it endorsed a health-care plan that would have devastated 24 million poor and low-income Americans.
In its obsession with extremes and extravaganzas, the media has obliterated all sense of dialogue, all sense of understanding. By giving fake-news more time than real-news, the media has obliterated our ability to understand and solve complex problems. And in its wake, the media leaves behind a country greatly undermined, greatly reduced; a country that is finding it difficult to lead. But while we are glued to Trump’s latest madness, the rest of the world is aghast at our impotence; the rest of the world is anxious about a crippled America. Mad King George (George III, 18th century – right image) lost the colonies; under the madness of Donald Trump the Pax Americana is lost. And the Russian oligarchs are waiting in the wings to feed on the carrion.
Public Education: There’s a parallel to Trump America in another government agency – public education. After the tumultuous upheaval of the 1960s, school boards rushed to desegregate and while administrations were going through this radical shift, individual schools were being destroyed by two fake hippie mantras – all are equally talented and all should have an equal say. Teachers who spent their time with their feet up and reading the sport-pages while their students did one more work-sheet were given the same credence as the hard-working, talented educators. Knowledge, skills and dedication were devalued; they were put on par with ignorance, incompetence and apathy.
The result of this fake openness was to paralyze the individual school; when everyone’s voice was of equal import, no consensus could be reached and all problem-solving and quality education came to a stand still. And in the wake of the paralysis all decision-making moved from the local school to central-office. The very movement that preached love and harmony was also used to atrophy a public institution that had created a workforce and a populace that brought about the American century.
I believe the Federal Government and local governments are going through their own devaluation, their own shift and Trump is the poster-child for this movement. (Donald Trump, 21st century – middle image) Imagine, winning on the backs of poor and low-income Americans and then turning around and making your first legislative act a law that would have further devastated the very people who voted for you. I’m sure that the teachers who helped destroy the system believed they were standing up against all them hoity-toity educators with masters and PHDs; all them data-driven administrators with their newfangled ideas.
What do you mean, gym teachers shouldn’t be principals!