Failed Experiment

Well, apparently Choosing was right when she said she thought I could only go two days without writing about Trump.  While this post is not about him, per se, it does refer to him, and I find that there is almost no way to write about the reality of the day without invoking his ugly name.  In addition, one reader reminded me, quite rightly, that those of us with minds and conscience have an obligation to keep speaking out.  And finally, as I posted not so long ago, the words of the late Elie Wiesel: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  And this … “We cannot indefinitely avoid depressing subject matter, particularly if it is true …”  So, my moratorium on all things Trump was a failed experiment.  I figured it would be, but I rather thought I could do it for a week or two.  Oh well … moving on …

Yesterday I wrote a post about KKK member and former leader David Duke running for U.S. Senate.  A person whom I considered a friend wrote the following comment on my Facebook page:

“gee are they still arround?????? dont hear anything that they have done in years. It seems that other groups are taking over and causing all the problems now. And I did not read your blog so dont know what you said in it or do I want to know. Cant wait to see how many lies Hillary tells the people, bet she has more tales then a damn story teller.”

I share this here, not to make the point that my friend wouldn’t know a punctuation mark if it hit her in the patootie, but because this exemplifies an attitude that seems to be sweeping this nation today.  First, read only the headline and take offense without reading the entire article.  Second, do not bother to keep abreast of the news (the KKK was in the news in February for a violent rally in California, and twice in the past week for a number of less serious issues). Third, use any political commentary to turn the topic to Hillary and criticize her without actually using any facts.

I have known and been friends with this particular commenter for more than twenty years, and it is only in the past year that I discovered her to be: a) a bigot, and b) a shallow, narrow-minded person.  I wonder … how did I miss seeing these things before and how did I end up with friends whose views are so very far apart from my own?  I always thought of her as a good person, somewhat crass at times, but nonetheless kind of heart.  I was wrong.

A reader of this blog recently commented that what Donald Trump has done is turn over the rocks under which all the hate and ignorance was hiding.  That seems to be quite the case.  In my mind, I picture thousands of slugs slithering out leaving trails of poisonous slime in their wake.  Is this what we have to look forward to?  Is this what the next generation looks like?

Those who would blindly follow Trump not only fail to ask questions and demand answers of him, but they have also closed their ears to those of us who would present facts, who would refute his false claims.  In the words of one writer, “It’s not from an inability to hear and understand. It’s an unwillingness to look into any details behind Trump’s history, methodology, and policy stances. They don’t want to hear the truth so they cover their ears and chant Trumpisms loudly like infants.”  My commenter would seem to fit into this category.

In the weeks ahead, our best hope is that the Clinton/Kaine team refuse to be drawn into the filth and garbage that is being thrown down by the opposition, that they put forth sound policies and do so in a calm, responsible manner.  More name-calling and toxic slime are not what this campaign needs, and will not raise Clinton in the eyes of the voting public.  Those who have already made up their minds to vote for Trump will not be swayed no matter what is said, as they will not hear it.  It is those who are, as yet, uncertain, those who do not particularly love either candidate, who Clinton must reach, and the way to do so is to show herself to be above Trump’s loud fear-mongering and hate-inducing speech.

And as for me, I guess I am back in the saddle, and meanwhile I will be taking a close look at my friends list on Facebook to see if I can make it smaller.

 

9 thoughts on “Failed Experiment

  1. Jill, the link I sent you on Sam Harris’ is the best description of why Clinton over Trump. The podcast is thirty minutes. As I noted in my post of today, I don’t mind people having conservative views or liberal views, as many of us have both in varying degrees on various issues. What I do not like is for candidates that misuse data intentionally and/ or use party lines as if they are nuggets of knowledge, when they are just bumper sticker comments.

    As an Independent, former Republican and Democrat, I can say the Democrats are horrible marketers, in part because of the prevalence and popularity of Fox News. The Dems too often let the right dictate the terms of discussion. For example, the following are factual statements, but even Dems have a hard time believing them.

    – The “failed stimulus” that the GOP threw out in the 2012 election is not true. Six econometric firms said the stimulus bill actually was accretive to the economy, it just needed to be more.
    – The GOP saying “we are the party of jobs” with respect to the White House is not even close to being accurate, with 12 Democrat White Houses creating more than twice the number of jobs than 12 GOP White Houses since 1921
    – It should also be noted the stock market, economy and unemployment all perform better under Democrat White Houses than GOP ones. The differential is so great (the stock market performs 73% better under Dem White Houses, since 1901, e.g.), as I wonder why business leaders and investors don’t vote Democrat as they make more money under those White Houses on average.

    I mention these as they run counter to GOP talking points. Just like the Clinton smear campaign that date back to the 1990s, which are being recycled now (Whitewater, Vince Foster, etc.), the underlying truth does not get out without effort. I would add that the continuation of the Benghazi investigation was primarily to discredit her, as leaked by Speaker-wanna-be Kevin McCarthy. We all could have done better, the initial bipartisan report by Admiral Mullens and Ambassador Pickering said two months after Benghazi, including a Republican Congress that cut funding to embassy security six months before. Mind you, Clinton is far from perfect and she tends to get in her own way by not being forthcoming when needed. She chose poorly on the email server issue, which unfortunately fits the narrative. This may keep her from winning, which would be a shame as she is far more qualified than her opponent.

    Sorry for the soapbox. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need to apologize for the soapbox … I carry one with me wherever I go! 🙂 And yes, you are correct in everything you say. There are just so many facets to this entire race that it boggles the mind! I used to spend an hour or two a day writing, but now I spend nearly every spare minute reading/researching/writing, and still never say everything I would like to say. Sigh. I thank you for your thoughtful and enlightening comments!

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  2. I had to block a friend from my Facebook page because I came to realize that she was falling in line with Trump. I just couldn’t deal with the fact that someone I had liked for so many years — and worked closely with as well– could be that easily led into the mud. And I have also sworn not to read or write about the Tumpet but cannot keep the promise to myself. It’s like the fascination we all have at the site of a train wreck.
    Clearly most, if not all, off the mud that has been slung at Hillary comes from the Right. The sad thing is that so much of it sticks and forms an indelible impression with those who fail to think about what is said and who says it. She is going to have a real battle on her hands, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I always said I would not let differences of opinion come between a friendship, and I do try not to, but I do not tolerate disrespect, and I am finding lately that I also have a very low tolerance for stupidity. I am not sure if this is a product of this election or just that I am getting older and realize I don’t have time for b.s. 🙂

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  3. Little choice but ‘stay in the saddle’….Difficult to keep meaningful friendships going when the ‘order of the day’ seems to be the ‘destruction’ of good friendships…. 😉 Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My wife, though clearly not for Hillary and who has a lot of the same opinions of Trump that you and I share, though I don’t talk about politics a whole lot on my blog, she too was questioning some friendships of people who she says are very intelligent but give credence to his particular vile form of derisive division and hatred of anyone who disagrees with him.

    If people allow themselves to abandon friendships over political differences, haven’t they given more ammunition to the very people they are opposing? I unfriended one person on Facebook, not because we differed significantly in political belief systems but because when I would comment on an article that I posted, most of her responses would be “horseshit” and that was it. In my mind, that demonstrated a lack of intellectual integrity and a complete unwillingness to engage in logical debate regarding the issues.

    I absolutely believe that a lot of the policies of the liberal democrats like the notion that big government is the answer to the woes of the people, that government can efficiently handle the distribution and management of healthcare, that they can successfully oversee education, the environment and be good stewards of the capital they receive through a system of collection that is based on coercion rather than voluntary donation by the citizens, these principles have proven throughout history that they do not lead to prosperity of the individual or the prosperity of small businesses which are the backbone of a thriving economy. Though I have strong opinions on those ideas, I don’t walk away from people who strongly support and believe in the philosophical underpinnings of the party that I have a strong opposition to. I would like to think that, even during this shit show of an election, that relationships can transcend the divisiveness that the candidates are engendering in the electorate and if people allow their relationships to be undermined by a temporary political season, then the politicians have won and not in a good way at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I generally agree with you, and do not give up on friendships simply because of differing ideologies. However a lack of respect is something else. I welcome comments both here on my blog and on social media, but I have zero tolerance for disrespect, for hate, and lately for utter stupidity. If they talk like Trump, engage in hate and bigotry, they probably are not friends to begin with. Just my thoughts.

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