A View From The ‘Other Side’

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was planning to sneak into republican territory to try to gain a better understanding of their ideology … and why they still support Trump after all the death and destruction he has wrought.  So far, I’ve been a bit slow in doing that, for I find I have a low tolerance for much of what I find on the Republican’s turf.  Today, however, an opinion piece by conservative writer Hugh Hewitt, a Washington Post columnist, raised my hackles sufficiently that I had to address it.  I won’t replay the entire piece, but you can find it over at The Washington Post if you feel so inclined.  What I will do is address a few of his more ludicrous statements.

The title of Mr. Hewitt’s piece was telling in itself: The case for Trump will come down to his record. It’s a strong one.”

I knew right then it was likely to make me growl, and I wasn’t disappointed.  A few snippets from his column, with my responses in blue

“With huge help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Trump has put two justices on the Supreme Court, 53 judges on the federal courts of appeals, 144 and counting on the District courts, and more than 20 on the specialty courts. The Constitution has been buttressed.”  Change the word “buttressed” to “battered”.  I’m glad to see he assigns blame for this mess to McConnell, as well.  No wonder ol’ Mitchie has an ever-expanding ego!

“Trump’s tax cuts, along with the massive deregulation he orchestrated, led to 3.5 percent unemployment until the regime in Beijing acted with criminal recklessness toward a virus that has devastated the world.”  Trump’s tax cuts mostly went to the wealthy, and the unemployment was already low before Trump took office.  He does not get credit for that.  But more to the point … to blame China for “criminal recklessness” is the most ridiculous thing.  China did not, contrary to the conspiracy theorists, manufacture the virus intentionally in a lab!  The only ‘criminal recklessness’ that has led to more than 156,000 deaths in the U.S. was Trump’s horrific mishandling from day #1!  And that ‘massive deregulation’ has contributed to the further destruction of our air, water, and wildlife on planet Earth.

“Trump took a military operating in President Barack Obama’s last years at about $600 billion and moved that budget by his third year to $738 billion, with more in the budget coming soon. The Navy necessary to meet China on the high seas, all 355 ships of it, is being planned and built.”  Oh goodie … while people are homeless, going to bed hungry, and cannot afford health care, even more of our tax dollars are going to support an already over-bloated military so that we can start a war with China!  I sure feel better, don’t you?  The U.S. already has the largest military on the globe, and now we have a warmonger in the White House … what could possibly go wrong?

“Trump took the United States out of the unbalanced, absurd, doomed-to-fail Paris Climate Agreement and has instead focused on and delivered American energy independence. People have real job security in Pennsylvania as a result, if not in jetting off to Paris for follow-up seminars.”  One commenter to Hewitt’s piece said she’d like to have some of what he’s been smoking … I agree.  The environment is in real trouble and the Paris Accords were the last best hope for getting all nations to work together to try to preserve life on the planet, yet Mr. Hewitt is applauding Trump’s decisions that have made the extinction of most living species almost a certainty?  Are you growling yet?  And as for the coal industry in Pennsylvania … coal is on its way out, and nothing … nothing Trump can do is going to change that.  Retraining the miners in another industry, such as renewable energy, would have been much kinder.

“Trump’s border wall, proceeding apace, makes obvious sense. More than 200 miles completed, with Trump tweeting Thursday the length with [sic] be 300 miles by September.”  Of the 200 miles, only 3 miles is new, and the other 197 miles replaced existing border barriers.  The funds to build this ‘wall’ have been hijacked from budgets earmarked for other, more important things.  And the cost thus far has been over $15 billion.  Further … the experts have shown that such a structure will not stop illegal immigration.  More of our tax dollars wasted while children go to bed hungry at night!

“Trump has also stripped off the veneer of objectivity from the “fake news.” “Blue Bubble” journalists are the last to know the contempt in which they are held beyond the Acela corridor and outside Silicon Valley and Hollywood. They mistake their small audience share for success.”  Seriously?  ‘Small audience’???  The New York Times had, as of the 4th quarter last year, 3.43 million paid subscribers, and The Washington Post is estimated to have more than 2 million. 

I read around 30 comments responding to Mr. Hewitt, and of those, only one was favourable to Mr. Hewitt, the rest calling his words ‘a spoof’, ‘laughable’, and more.  The one positive comment simply said, “What a wonderful man.”  Not a single comment that I saw supported Hewitt’s premises, and several pointed out a few of Trump’s worst blunders, including his handling of the pandemic that has led to so much unnecessary loss of life.

I went into this in hopes of gaining understanding, but with such views as Mr. Hewitt’s, I am left to wonder how right and left can move closer to understanding each other and finding common ground.  How do we unite two sides that are so very far apart in their views and ideologies?  Is it a lost cause, and are we doomed to be a nation so divided forever?  If so, we will not remain a single nation for long, for the chasm in which we live today is untenable.  The United States of America is not by any stretch of the imagination ‘united’ today.

40 thoughts on “A View From The ‘Other Side’

  1. Each accomplishment in Hewitt’s view is an indication of what Trump’s faithful supporters hold dear: control of the Supreme Court, tax cuts for the rich, China bashing, increased military spending, climate change denial, US/Mexico border wall, and silencing opposing views and facts (journalists).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In the catch phrase and trademarked words of the late George Siskel and the also late Roger Ebert : “Two Thumbs Up”…for bravely entering what could well be thought of these days as enemy territory! That you made it back with your mind unscathed should be considered a victory. Then again it was Ebert who wrote : “What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes : curious and teachable.” Clear-minded and Curious are amongst your well known traits and are skillfully utilized writing this blog every day. In order to remain Teachable, both we and you, must not limit our minds to what we know and accept as true; but be open minded enough to at least consider the merits of an opposing view…even one as bizarre as this from Hugh Hewitt! Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank YOU for both the high praise, and the thumbs up! It’s difficult these days to consider seriously republican ideologies, and dolts like Hugh Hewitt make it even harder. I just come away growling and scratching my head. I believe that like Trump himself, Hewitt speaks only to Trump’s cult, for he damn sure makes no sense to most thinking, rational people!

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  3. Jill, let me set aside the many attributes that negate the president being considered a leader. Who focus on those (corruption, racism, deceit, bullying, etc.) more so than policy. So, let’s look at the policy from an independent and former GOP (and Democrat) voter lens:
    – through retrenchment from multilateral agreements and tariffs on many trading partners, Trump has greased the skids for an ascendant China. His followers are not told that, but China has filled the void and is investing, lending, and participating in other countries economies. One official said at any global economic conference, China will have twenty people working the rooms, while the US will have two.
    – further, not valuing relationships and history, focusing more on a transactional lens, has harmed our relationships with the EU, NATO, and other countries. This has harmed us in competing against an ascendant China and our relationships with other countries. I could not imagine Trump having any success in building any coalition.
    – the not highly publicized attacks on the environmental protections along with the public withdrawal commitment from the Paris Climate Change Accord have harmed our planet and will continue to do so. This was my greatest fear about a Trump presidency, that is still underreported.
    – he has further diminished the talent pool and impact of very important civil servants and military. Michael Lewis’ book “The Fifth Risk,” notes our president and his team are unaware of the risks that keep these valuable public servants up at night. As Lewis notes after study and interviews with people the Trump folks did not do, the Deep State are those folks who know what they are talking about.
    – finally, he has so botched the COVID-19 handling with his incompetence, misinformation and even disinformation, too many Americans are dying. It amazes me how only 60% (average of the polls) feel he is doing a bad job on the virus. He has done an atrocious job.

    I could go on. We are further in debt because of an ill conceived tax cut that benefitted the top dogs, so when the COVID-19 virus hit, we went even further into debt out of necessity.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • All excellent points, and like you, I could add many others. The rollback of nearly all environmental regulations and withdrawal from the Paris Accords top my list, even higher than his bungling of the pandemic, for the effects will last long past the time the pandemic has been defeated. It will take decades to repair the damage to this nation, to our standing in the global community, that one ‘man’ has caused. He should be criminally prosecuted and spend his life doing hard labour, for what he has done to us is criminal.

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  4. Hello Jill. I predict that a few months after tRump loses and Biden takes the oath of office you will find half of the tRump supporters suddenly claiming they were not tRump supporters at all. The worst of the lot will still be in the cult but especially the elected ones will claim their support for tRump was misunderstood and they were misquoted. Fake news right? I really am looking forward to the investigations and how the upper members in the party of tRump in congress tries to wriggle out of the legal troubles they will be in. Have a great Sunday. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • You may be right … I think there are the die-hards who will continue to be racist bigots, but perhaps the less volatile will suddenly change their tune. The republicans in Congress will no doubt say they were just trying to get along, but in my book they sold their soul downriver and I want them all OUT! You have a great Sunday too, Scottie! Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sure, all nations are to an extent. But we’ve never been divided this much since 1865. And the differences almost seem to be irreconcilable. I suspect the U.S. will eventually split into multiple, smaller nations.

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  5. I guess this is why I always respected George Will. Rarely agreed with him, but sure as hell knew he was promoting his philosophy with facts. Jill, we can defeat stupidity with truth, we can fill this American darkness with the light of compassion and tolerance.

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    • I agree … George Will, David Brooks, and a few others … I may not agree with them, but they are far more reasonable than this Hewitt dude. And, these days, they are as much against Trump as we are. Sadly, his base listen to the likes of Hewitt more. I hope you’re right, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Just finished watching “Mrs America” – I guess you had it over there long before us. A fascinating account, contrasting the feminist movement and the Repuglycon opposition. Merryl Streep did a magnificent job of protraying a woman I’d never before heard of – Phylis Schlaeler (not sure if I spelled that right!). It covered the period from late 1960s to ’79 and Reagan’s election. What really shocked me was that the Equal Rights Ammendment the feminsits were promoting and Schlaeler opposed still has not passed through Congess, despite now having been ratified by the required 38 states, the last just a couple years ago. Aparently Shclaeler had a pro-Trump book published posthumously. Am I telling you stuff you already know? Probably. Sorry, didn’t mean to waste your time.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve been meaning to write a piece about the Equal Rights Amendment and how ludicrous it is that still, after all this time, it cannot seem to pass through Congress! Yes, her name was Phyllis Schlafly and I often swore she was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a man masquerading as a woman, for she was as much a misogynist as any man I’ve ever known! Another ‘no-brainer’ that cannot seem to make it through Congress is the anti-lynching bill. I did NOT know about Schlafly’s pro-Trump book … I’ll have to go in search of that one! I may have known most of this, but I’m glad you commented about it, and reading your comments is NEVER a waste of time, my friend. Thank you!!!

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  7. When I tried doing this last year, I came to only one conclusion, if you are a repuglycan, Trump only needs to say it for it to be God’s Absolute Truth!!! There is no distrust, no questioning, no fact-checking of any kind. If Dumbpy Trump gives it wings, it will fly to the ends of the universe. The sooner Trump gives himself wings, the better the chance he will get lost because the universe has no GPS. Of course, he will have to fire his Driver,, and that will get him more lost. He should not take long to starve to death, there are no Golden Arches to attract his attention, no Red and White Giant Bucket to use to guide him. But maybe he will find a Mucho Burrito, or a Taco Bell. Hope he has some ENO.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I’m just wondering, Jill, if in your “Proud to be unWoke” wanderings, you came across a group who write on “Rabblerouserruminations’s Weblog. It is a group of wannabee rabblerousers from the wrong side o, and to f the political spectrum. To listen to them is to know every truth and to understand every policy put forth by the genius Right. What a pitiful bunch of airheads.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, nor does it sound like a site that would be of any benefit to visit. I’m seeking civil discourse, people of both sides who genuinely care about the nation and want to try to understand both sides, not just rabblerousers.

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          • Got it. I end up there occasionally because rabblerouseramy collects edtoons from the right, like Scottie and Tokyo Sands do from the left. Funny, but a number of her toons seem to get blocked, and I wonder, considering what gets past the censorship board, how bad were they?
            But do I really want to know?

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  8. Ludicrous is the best I can think of to say for this mans meandering comments. The placing of so many judges of the.Conservative kind is not to provide equitable justice for all, it’s to promote Conservative opinion and deprive the majority of their rights..The environmental conditions that were put in place with the agreement of most of the World were to the benefit of everyone in terms off air quality, preservation of animals,water quality and so many other things. There have been Republican Presidents who have supported this so it’s not a con game.The Republican way of doing business id to reward the rich and punish the poor.It;s like a group of particularly nasty and vindictive children are hosting a game and only want the school bullies to play.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s exactly what it’s like … and likely to stay that way until this country does a few things, starting with overturning Citizens United and taking big money out of politics. Then term limits so that legislators don’t get so comfy spending 20-30 years in Congress. Abolish the electoral college so that our votes are all equal no matter where we live. And automatic voter registration with all-mail voting (and a USPS that functions). Until then, nothing much will change, I fear. Sigh.
      Cwtch

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  9. Reminds me a smidge of some of the comments of those in the UK who also inhabit the Left wing, but refuse to believe that :
    1. There is none better than Jeremy Corbyn
    2. The BBC is an organ of the Conservative Party.
    3. The only people in the world who do bad things are Americans, Israelis and rogue Russian oligarchs who donated cash to the Conservative party.
    Desperately grabbing at some theme and then weaving away some tale that has also the credibility of a day-time soap plot line.
    Of course it’s the Chinese who are to blame for COVID 19 and wrecking the US economy, never mind how the USA govt handled the crisis…..Jeeeeeeez Louise!

    Liked by 4 people

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