Playing Grown-Up   (2016Oct08)

Saturday, October 08, 2016                                              2:00 PM

What a roller-coaster of emotions. Initially, of course, disgust and mind-boggle-ment. Then an unattractive glee over this ethical implosion (but we were so frightened he might become our president—you really can’t blame us). Then back to disgust—but this time, over the fact that our politics have come to this. Then an overwhelming sense of relief—as in ‘he can’t win now.’ Then a chill of worry—after all, his cult following isn’t going to care—their support has no relation to judgement. Then ‘self-reassurance’, because he can’t win with just his existing base of zealots.

I’m positively dizzy with disorientation. But, as Rachel Maddow says, “You are awake. You are not dreaming. This is really happening.” I’ve long since stopped thinking about Trump at all—it became painfully clear that the problem is in the vast numbers of voters who see him as presidential material. People like Trump (and Trump himself) have always been there—but they’ve never had a shot at the presidency before. People have never been accepting of such a filthy, perverted creep before. Sure, there was Nixon—but he had the presence of mind to hide his lack of character as well as he could, not to revel in it.

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But let’s not overlook Julian Assange completely—he has waited for the perfect moment to drop his ‘bomb’ on the Clinton campaign. Well, the Billy Bush video kinda messed up that timing—but even without it, we are hard-pressed to understand how he could have thought Hillary’s speeches to businesses would destroy her. I’ve read what he leaked—it’s all pretty reasonable stuff, assuming your life is not dedicated to despising Hillary Clinton.

We are mature enough to watch Trump’s damning video—surely then, we’re mature enough to grapple with the paradox of democracy. An elected official needs to present themselves so as to be elected—if the right thing to do is unpopular, you only talk about it in private. That’s the crux of what is revealed about Hillary in this latest leak—small potatoes compared to the revelations about Trump’s character (or total absence thereof).

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The truth is—I don’t really know enough about international trade agreements to gainsay the people whose job it is to formulate such things. I do know that Europe has seen borderless-ness as a goal for generations—a sign that civilized people can live side by side without armed guards and walls. In examining their history, we may find ourselves embarrassed to be fixated on so bad an idea as a Big Wall. It’s a really stupid idea—and in so many ways.

I’m so desperately hoping this election comes out right—democracy has shat the bed twice, recently—first with Brexit, then again with the Columbians voting ‘No’ to peace with the FARC. It would be nice if the cradle of democracy could score one for the good guys. My nerves have had it.

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Catchphrases work well as political tools, but they are worthless as policy. If NAFTA is unfair, we should modify it until it is fair. Killing it is a simple idea—but rather simple-minded, if we remember that there were reasons why NAFTA was created. TPP is neither good or bad, either—it is an agreement, which can be changed if it is unfair. And, our experience with NAFTA will tell us what problems to look out for.

In the same way, the Affordable Care Act was a vital bill—that has been revealed to be flawed. Now, we can throw it in the trash—bumping 20,000,000 people off of health insurance—or we can modify the bill to be fair and economically feasible. Legislation and Trade Agreements are complex works which can be modified when faulty—but in using them as political footballs, we reduce the question to ‘live or die?’ We don’t want to trash these things—we want to tweak them until they work. You don’t fix a computer by taking a hammer to it.

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The Republicans are slippery on this—sometimes their objections are that the bill doesn’t work, sometimes their objections are that ‘socialized medicine’ is bad. In the end, they conflate both arguments, and say that we have to repeal Obamacare. Not that we have to fix it. And honestly, everyone knows that the Insurance Lobby blocked the single-payer-option because it makes the industry more competitive—and everyone knew that blocking the single-payer-option would make the bill a nonsensical mish-mash. They don’t want to fix the bill, now, for the same reason they fought the bill’s passing.

Tomorrow night’s debate should be fascinating. I hope Hillary knows that she’s already won—she should take it easy, not for his sake, but just because she’s gracious in victory. Then again—let’em have it—he’s earned it. Making us all look bad—grumble, grumble…..

Julian Assange, Pony Up   (2016Oct04)

Tuesday, October 04, 2016                                               4:51 PM

My two most-recent Facebook Status Updates:

“We’re supposed to vote for a guy who lost a billion dollars of his own money in a single year—because he’s good at business—and we’re not supposed to vote for the lady who gave her whole life to public service and helping kids—because we can’t trust her? Okay—that makes sense.”

“Trump says and does things that would be troubling in any man, far more in a man asking for the ultimate responsibility. I wouldn’t want him in my home, much less the White House.”

**–**  ___  **–**

 Julian Assange is enjoying his moment in the sun—holding a sword of Damocles over the Clinton campaign—threatening to destroy her image with revelations so awful that no one can defend them. This I have to see.

When dealing with people who like to get down in the mud, one sometimes is forced to make hard choices. If, in her thirty years of being hounded by a right-wing conspiracy, Hillary Clinton has made some hard choices, I won’t be surprised. I can be as headstrong as the Trump supporters—you better come at me with something that bites.

If the whole truth about Trump is as bad as his opacity suggests, Assange is going to be hard-pressed to find dirt on anyone that supersedes it, much less dirt on Hillary. Of course, Hillary does have some cyber-blindness—as most 68-year-olds would—and may well have had some memoir rough-drafts hacked, in which she is brutally honest in a way no politician can afford to be. I would enjoy debating that sort of thing—honesty is inconvenient in public discourse, but can be ultimately healthy.

Hillary Clinton is the gold standard in modern politicians—not hardly forthcoming, but seen to have the good of the people as her ultimate goal. If this were to be a mere façade behind which lurked our darkest fears, we would have little course but to surrender to despair—our illusions snuffed out entirely, at long last. If that is the case, then this little prick Julian had better produce something more than innuendo—he’s suggesting he’s in possession of something that will rock 600,000,000 people’s world.

But Assange talks about his ‘revenge’ dump as if it is proof of criminality. Fine, if he’s got legitimate documentation of wrong-doing, instead of a lot of smoke, let’s have it. He’s done a lot of talking. Time to pony up or shut up.

Sex Matters   (2016Sep29)

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Thursday, September 29, 2016                                        3:20 PM

Let’s discuss presidents and sex. I don’t want to go back too far—let’s start with FDR. That great man was confined to a wheelchair and he still managed to have multiple affairs while in office. Truman, a great man as well, was also a good man—no known affairs, though he enjoyed drinking and gambling. Then there was Eisenhower—definitely an affair while SCAEF, but I’m not historian enough to know whether he fooled around in office.

Then we had Kennedy—I think we can put him in the plus column. Then we had LBJ—no affairs that I know of. Same with Nixon—though we’d be hard-pressed to call him a ‘good’ man. Then Ford—another no; then Carter—another no, though he ‘lusted in his heart’. (And what hetero man doesn’t—or gay, come to think of it?) And Carter was followed by Reagan—two wives, but no known affairs.

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Then we had Bush-41—a definite no. Bill Clinton was then the fourth modern president with publicly-known, documented affairs—but he was the first to be hounded for it while still in office. Then Bush-43 came along as the matching Puritanical bookend to his father. (If we can call a hard-partier like the young Bush-43 ‘Puritanical’, it is only in the fidelitous sense.) And last but not least, we have our present President—who, like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every particular (and certainly doesn’t have affairs).

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So there you have the modern roster—affairs aren’t exactly common among presidents, but then they aren’t exactly uncommon either. And, if we are honest about it, the Presidency is one of the few jobs where such a thing would still impact one’s position. Married men having affairs is no rarity. In today’s society, no one goes to jail or loses their job over infidelity alone—with the exception of politicians and priests. Likewise, in today’s society, Divorce has very little baggage—heck, Trump’s on his third marriage and nobody says boo about it—even with him as presidential candidate for the Conservatives.

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Yet as a man with five kids by three wives, he seems to be considering bringing up Hillary’s husband’s infidelity as a black mark against Hillary—he claims he denied himself that ‘weapon’ at the debate because he had scruples about embarrassing Chelsea. Bringing up Chelsea’s name in this context seems like the sensitive way to go, alright. But I still need to have explained to me what Bill’s peccadilloes have to do with his wife running for office?

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Is Trump going to criticize her for not abandoning her family when she suffered the embarrassment of Ken Starr dragging this affair out over two years’ worth of prurient headlines? That’s how Trump advised his daughter—saying that if she were sexually harassed at work, she should quit her job and find a new career. Does he believe that Secretary Clinton, as a woman, is also supposed to run away when a man hurts her feelings?

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Or is he going to try to blame Bill’s behavior on his wife? A lot of stand-up comics have gone that route, suggesting that, if Hillary had been more sexually inventive, Bill would have never strayed. I can see Trump going that way—it would fit with his apparent theme: ‘no lie too big, no statement too idiotic’. And his advisors clearly have trouble explaining the difference between a presidential campaign and a stand-up routine to the GOP nominee. Wait—scratch that—stand-ups rehearse their acts.

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I don’t know how Trump is going to tie Bill Clinton’s notorious hound-dogging to his wife’s character. Still, he blames the last thirty years of federal governing on her alone, without any problem with the logic of saying so. But even Trump supporters are going to have trouble with tarring a wife by her husband’s affairs—at least the women, I presume. The married ones may even resent such an implication—if Trump supporters even hear the words that come out of his mouth in the first place. There is no evidence of that at present.

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The world, and especially the media, await this idiot’s next words with baited breath—though for the life of me I can’t understand why. There’s no reason to fear this clown—we fear only the crowd that supports him and will, apparently, vote for him to be President of the United States—and the education system that is so broken that these crowds exist. President Clinton (the faithful one) will have to work on that.

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Alt Right There   (2016Aug27)

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Saturday, August 27, 2016                                                10:28 AM

Every once in a while, someone remembers that electing our first woman to the presidency would be an historic breakthrough—and immediately, someone else will pointedly comment that they’re not going to vote for someone just because she’s a woman. We suffered from no such timidity when Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president. Sure, people would carp that Obama was ‘half-white’—but, that being a distinction no racist had ever before bothered to parse, no one took them seriously.

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And much has been made of late about the racism of the Alt Right fringe—as if these troglodytes were mostly concerned with what Larry Wilmore calls “The Unblackening”, i.e. replacing President Obama with a Caucasian. But what both the Clinton campaign and the media are overlooking is the Alt Right’s far greater interest in maintaining male chauvinism. Both Trump and his new campaign-head, Steve Bannon, have been explicitly and publicly misogynist in both word and deed.

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“All men are created equal” was confined to men-only for so long that there are women alive today who were born before women had the right to vote. The discrimination against women in America—even after Suffrage was granted—included property, banking, police protection, the workplace, and exclusion from any social or business group or meeting place deemed ‘men only’. And the feminist movement has made slow, tortuous progress towards gender equality for the last fifty years—but even gay men were allowed to serve in the military before women were accorded the same privilege in full—what was it, days ago? Maybe weeks ago?

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One could easily make the case that, when the Democrats nominated a woman presidential candidate, the GOP was taken over by the “He-Man Woman-Haters Club”, known today as the Alt Right. They must have pinched themselves when a man renowned for his public misogyny (and not ‘just against Rosy O’Donnell’) was nominated by the Republican Party. How perfect for them that an enemy of ‘political correctness’ was able to slip his chauvinism under the media’s radar. Even better, the Democrats have mistaken them for racists, when their true, core agenda is the unwinding of Women’s Liberation.

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How else does a woman, who statistically is more honest than most politicians, find herself confronting an electorate that has 63% of its number believing her to be wildly dishonest? Why else would a woman whose first job was sneaking into Southern schools to expose their refusal to de-segregate, end up being called a ‘bigot’ by the most morally bankrupt opponent ever to run for office—and the media repeats his claim 24-7, as if it has even a whisper of credibility?

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Now, full disclosure—I want a woman. I think our entire political system can only benefit from an increase in femininity. Women are less likely to internalize power—and more likely to remember the weak and helpless, and, of course, the children. They are at least as smart as men—and far less likely to lose sight of their goals by getting involved in dick-measuring contests. Men consistently point to menstruation, pregnancy, and child-rearing as ‘handicaps’ of the opposite sex—but ask yourself this: Would you rather have a human race that doesn’t bother with all the inconvenience of reproduction? That’s a short-lived dynasty, bub. Just because women do all the work of perpetuating the species doesn’t mean that creating new lives is some sort of ‘accessory’ that only girls fool around with. Get a clue.

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We worry about national defense, upholding the law, strength and power—we forget that life also requires caring, sensitivity, and tolerance. Men can even feel embarrassed for showing any recognition of these necessities. Yes, a lot of women would be embarrassed to show strength and toughness—but it’s not as overwhelming a barrier to women as men’s desperation to maintain their machismo. The most important strategic value of the female broadness of vision is that they are more likely to see both sides of an issue—they are less likely to pick a side and fight blindly for conquest, without any regard for other points of view. I don’t want to profile, but it would be ingenuous to pretend that the sexes think the same way, or perceive things the same way.

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But forget all that difference business. Let’s say men and women are exactly the same—for argument’s sake. By that logic, it doesn’t matter what gender our president is—only that they are fit for the job. So let’s say the Democrats had a candidate, a man, with a lifetime’s experience in public service, with a stellar reputation among his peers, and accolades galore from nearly everyone he’s ever helped or worked with. Would you vote for that guy—or would you vote for Trump? Better yet, imagine that Hillary Clinton wasn’t a political nerd, a policy wonk who is uncomfortable in the public spotlight—imagine she had the charisma of Trump, or her own husband. Imagine she had a voice like honey and the presence of Angelina Jolie—would you vote for Trump? I don’t think so.

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The trouble with Hillary is that she is our national medicine—it would help us, it would make us all better—but we don’t want to swallow it. We want something more fun, more attractive. Yet the things that make Secretary Clinton so desirable as our head of state are the very things that make it hard for her to appeal to us on a ‘popularity-contest’ level. She is serious. She is tough. Worst of all, perhaps, she is very intelligent. Of course we don’t want to vote for her—we don’t even want to date her. But this isn’t a date. This election is serious business—I would appreciate it if all my fellow Americans would be serious about their vote. That would not only be one more reason to vote for Hillary, but also one more reason not to vote for Trump. Let that poisonous clown bleed out of his ‘wherever’.

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Am I Dreaming?   (2016Aug05)

Friday, August 05, 2016                                           12:03 AM

What is this winsome magic? Don’t tease me, now. Don’t say it unless you really mean it. Can the entire nation have finally begun to see the madness of a Trump candidacy? Will I be saved from the dread of suspecting that a majority of my country-people were foolish enough to be taken in by that ‘salesman’ who is selling his heart out? America has about 300 million people in it—about 13 million of them are hard-core Trump supporters—so roughly 4.3% of Americans are yahoos—yeah, that sounds about right.

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I don’t want to jinx anything—but news reports now say Hillary Clinton is leading, even in battleground states—and that even congressional and senate seats are looking vulnerable, because of disarray in the Trump GOP. It just might be that Hillary would win—and—be working with a Democratic Congress.

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The GOP handed Obama a nation in the ditch, miles from the nearest phone—and despite that, our President managed to helm a slow recovery. What he couldn’t do was pass any significant new legislation, with a GOP Congress sitting on its hands just to spite him. But if the Democrats get back the legislature, we could see an almost FDR-like wave of economic reforms. We could see jobs, growth, wage hikes—hell, all kinds of good stuff—who knows?

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Now, that twit, Julian Assange, is planning to dump some sort of scandal into the news cycle sometime soon—you’d think a coder could see through Trump’s façade of BS—so, it’s still a tricky business. We’ll have to wait and see just how crazy Debbie Wasserman Schulz got—and whether any of it can be directly connected to Hillary. But a dream has sprouted in my mind—a future full of progress and prosperity—a return to American exceptionalism that isn’t just bluster—a serious effort to see equal justice for everyone, in every community.

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I’d like to see Hillary do so well that future Republicans will have to make ‘compromise’ and ‘bipartisan productivity’ a part of their appeal. Four years from now, I want to see Hillary run for re-election with the slogan, ‘this is what happens when government does its job’. I want to hear the GOP disavow their era of obstruction and subtle bigotry. And I want them to change the subject, for the rest of my life, whenever anyone brings up the Donald.

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I’ve been so terrified that we wouldn’t see through him until it was too late—I’m hesitant to think about this nightmare being over—there are still ninety-something days until Election Day. I can’t take the suspense. I keep telling myself to stop watching the news, just let it go until November—but then I just have to check and make sure we’re still heading in the right direction. Auggh! (As Charlie Brown would say.)

Time Is A River   (2016Jul29)

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Friday, July 29, 2016                                                3:15 PM

Hillary Clinton’s opponents try to characterize President Obama’s administration as a failure—pointing to exported jobs, employment woes, wage woes, and economic inequality, pointing to threats from terrorism at home and abroad. And they hammer away at every questionable action taken by either Obama or Clinton (we’re all sick of hearing about them because there are only a few, out of all the good both have accomplished).

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Cherry-picking data is a favorite sport of the GOP. When they talk about Obama’s poor economic stats (which aren’t all that poor) they never mention Obama’s starting point—or rather, the end of eight years under Bush-43. We were in economic hell—there’s no other way to spin it. And the fact that most economic stats are at record highs, eight years later, with unemployment down to nearly reasonable levels (there is still work to do) makes it ludicrous that the GOP could pretend to any understanding of economics—or any ability to fix the problems. They created the problems—but you won’t hear them own up to that. They’ll even complain that Obama’s recovery was ‘too slow’—hey, maybe if you didn’t create the problem, you’d have the right to back-seat-drive the recovery.

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The same is true of terrorism. Bush went to war with another country—by mistake—and then screwed the landing. He turned Iraq from a developed country into a chaotic free-for-all—and then doubled-down on military forces instead of addressing the hard work of re-building the country’s infrastructure and brokering between all the different factions a truce that had a shot at lasting long enough to get Iraq back to what it was. Now it is a wasteland, a breeding ground for ISIL—can they blame that on Obama or Hillary? No, but they can criticize the administration’s attempts to deal with the problem. It is childishly self-serving to spill milk and carp at the person wiping it up.

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Our history did not begin at Obama’s inauguration. The GOP earned their total shunning in 2008—they had us all in a very bad place—and how they ever wormed their way back in two years later says more about our educational system than it does about their merit as civil servants. And since their majorities in the House and Senate, they have sabotaged the gears of government—just to try and embarrass Obama. Now they want to point to him and say, “He didn’t get anything done.” Well, that’s right—he only got done as much as he could those first two years (AHA and banking regulations and saving the auto industry) and then went on to do as much as a president can do alone, while the Congress jerks off. I’d say half of them are just cynical pols—and the other half are simply cracker bigots. How else do you explain more than half of our 500 legislators deciding that their job is to block anything the president tries to do?

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Notice there is no qualifier to that goal—even if they really want something the president wants to pass, they’ll still block it. The proof is in their denial of Supreme Court nominee Garland a Senate hearing, for a year and counting—before he was nominated, the GOP wrote nothing but love letters about him—now they don’t want to know him. Politics can be nauseating.

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So, if Obama’s administration has failed in important ways—he hasn’t done it in a vacuum—or rather, he has, though he shouldn’t have had to. The GOP created more than one crisis in this country, then they spent eight years blocking efforts to right the situation, then they spent the last two years working on one thing—trying to destroy Hillary Clinton’s image. From the polls, I have to admit they’ve done a great job—but again, that says more about our educational system than it does about their merit as civil servants.

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I don’t know—maybe there’s something in uneducated people that wants to be taken advantage of. Other polls seem to show that no one with a college education will vote for the clown who hijacked the GOP. People who need dramas in their lives will hang on to all the propaganda, resurrecting the zombie lies for the nth time, making out as if there’s a real contest here. I’m sorry—this election was over when Trump said Mexicans were rapists. Even if Hillary Clinton wasn’t a great woman, and wouldn’t make a fantastic President—we’d still have to vote for her, just to keep him away from the big button—yikes.

 

Thinking In Time   (2015Sep16)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015                                              1:51 PM

It’s very rude to say things about people we care for—but it is impossible not to think things about people, no matter how much we love them. The analytical part of our minds has no filter—that comes after. This leads most men to believe that lying, frequently and profusely, is a vital part of a happy marriage. Still, I’ve found that any thoughts that may occur to me will be skewed by my emotional inertia—if I’m feeling critical, I’ll find criticisms; if I’m feeling good, I’ll notice goodness.

Emotional inertia is a very important thing—if I keep an eye out for it, I can sometimes stop myself before I really get ‘on a roll’. And that’s not to say I stifle my feelings—when we’re ‘on a roll’, conversationally or interactively, we start to look for the next rung on the ladder we’re building—it leads us on, but it can also lead us away from our intentions. Sometimes it leads us to a place we don’t want to get to—so I find being ‘on a roll’ to be vastly over-rated.

Further, I don’t really like to be definite about anything immediately—the more important a decision is, the better it is to give it time to work itself out in my head. ‘Sleeping on it’ is folk wisdom in this vein—to go to sleep and wake up the next day, on its surface, doesn’t appear to have any value—yet I can’t count the number of times that doing so has allowed insights to present themselves, insights that took their time coming to the forefront of my consciousness.

Conversely, “time and the tide wait for no man”—taking one’s time isn’t always an option. While I can be pretty clever at a slow pace, I’m terrible at snap decisions—I’m slow-smart but fast-stupid. It amazes me sometimes how stupid someone can be—and still beat me in an argument. Part of that is due to the old saw: “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell, “The Triumph of Stupidity” (1933). But in truth, there is also the simple fact that my education doesn’t recall itself to my mind instantaneously—another person with less than a tenth of my knowledge can nonetheless easily out-talk me.

Thus I am forced to disagree with another famous quote of his: “To realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.” – Bertrand Russell, “Our Knowledge of the External World” (1914). No doubt, in context, his use of “Time” and of “unimportance” refer to aspects other than those I am addressing—especially as he is speaking philosophically, while I’m talking about a sort of ‘applied mechanics’. He speaks of understanding—I’m going on about missed opportunities and un-ducked punches.

One last Bertrand Russell quote: “Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?”

I saw Jimmy Fallon doing a comedic interview with Donald Trump—who didn’t seem to find any cognitive dissonance in being laughed at by the entire audience for his policies and positions—as if he knew he would get in the last laugh. His platform seems to be: “I’m ridiculous—trust me.” We do, Donald, we do—we trust you to be ridiculous. Trust you with the presidency?—not so much. Survey question: What scares you more—Trump, or the people who would vote for him?

The GOP isn’t the only institution being put through the wringer of self-regard by Mr. Trump—the Media, as well, is finding it difficult to air anything other than Trump coverage—he’s such a ratings-magnet that they completely abandon all pretense of keeping us informed. We will be entertained by the news—and nothing more—until their new clown-god drops out of the race. Should the Donald actually become our Chief Executive, we will never see another straight news story ever again.

He will be ‘proof of concept’ that we will watch the news no matter how skewed or devoid of substance it becomes—the last barrier to infotainment, the audience’s expectation of maturity and analysis, will have fallen.

But none of this is the media’s fault, or Donald’s fault, or even the GOP’s fault—this is about human nature. We are all being given the option of either thinking seriously about difficult issues, or being distracted by the funny clown. I confess, the funny clown calls out to me—he says, “Why worry? Why be all serious about things? Let’s just wing it!”—and who can resist him?

The only counter-weight is the Presidency itself—it stubbornly insists that running the most powerful nation on earth involves life-or-death decisions about complex issues. It refuses the premise that running our government is like running a business—it refuses to place profit above human rights, faith above freedom, or wealth and power above the people. It fairly screams that Donald Trump’s election, rather than investing him with dignity, will strip any vestige of dignity from the office itself.

And someone will have to explain to me how a majority of us would have the wisdom to elect an Obama, twice, and then become brain-damaged enough to replace him with a joke in a suit.

The answer is probably that we are all willing to take a suggestion for a fact—Hillary Clinton, it has been suggested, did something wrong with her e-mails. It’s not a fact. There are no specifics. There’s no evidence of any harm done by her admittedly unwise combining of personal and professional e-mails. Still, between the GOP spin doctors and the media’s lust for scandal, it has become a meme—Hillary is dishonest. Who can say? Perhaps she is. She’s a politician, after all—their profession is as notoriously vulnerable to unpopular, bare facts as it is to popular, but false, rumors.

I’d like to ask all the people who say they won’t vote for Hillary because they think she’s dishonest—do you trust Trump? Do you truly trust any of the other 16 candidates? Or is this just another example of the double standard for women, i.e. a dishonest man is just a politician, but a dishonest women is a criminal?

And just how dishonest do we think Hillary is? I think she’s defensive—the GOP began to attack her when she was only the First Lady, without any actual standing in government other than a symbolic one. But she has been cleared of any substantial wrongdoing in every one of their manufactured scandals, from Whitewater to Benghazi. I don’t understand how so many failed attacks by the GOP has left their reputations untouched, yet managed to taint her image through sheer persistence—how stupid are we, the voters?

We are like the high school class that witnesses a bully pick on the weak kid every day—and decides to join in the ridicule rather than doing the right thing and defending their classmate from the bully. We have the opportunity to elect a great American, and our first woman, as President—and we’re seriously considering, instead, a spoiled billionaire with no experience. Again I ask—how stupid are we?