The testy relationship with my “Buddy” is one of the casualties of the Presidential election. We called each other some names that, for me, are a complete betrayal of the cordial wisecracking of my Grandfather that I lauded a short time ago. If I ignore future emails from him related to my posts 1. I will have more time. And 2. I will miss a window into a critic’s point of view.
Etiquette lessons tweet
VP elect Mike Pence went to a performance of “Hamilton” in New York the other night getting some catcalls and some applause. At the end of the play the cast got together to read an imploring message to their noteworthy patron.
Inevitably President elect Trump said the Musical’s cast owed the Vice President an apology for being so rude. This is the same fellow who led crowds in chants of “lock her up.”
I won’t be taking etiquette lessons from our new President.
The wisdom of crowds and Trump’s “negotiating position”
My old buddy has never indicated he had a problem with anything Donald Trump said or did. Months ago he told me he didn’t plan to vote for Trump but I have no idea if he changed his mind. He sent me lots of criticisms of Hillary Clinton especially if they were written by women pundits. He did the same thing with Obama sending me criticisms of the president from black pundits.
I can’t disagree with many of Trump’s supporters who feel that American governance is broken. I just don’t agree that Trump was the solution. I feel strongly enough that I’ve broken up with my “Buddy” over it. I have often heard of the wisdom of crowds and have some faith in it but that is not without qualifications. Many Democracies elect terrible leaders like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela or Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who snuff out the democracy.
Despite my disdain for our new President I recognize that such an outcome is unlikely in the United States. On the other hand, many of those who voted for him are ardent gun buyers who stockpile firearms because of their fear that folks like me will make an Obama a dictator. Why should I trust them any more than they trust me?
I’m most worried about Trump voters who don’t recognize the improbable things he says are silly or outright fabrications. I’m less worried about folks who supported him because they are banking on his extreme statements being smart ass jibes or a tough bargaining position to retreat from in order to win concessions. NPR had a nice piece today about a Virginia family which gets along despite a split in voting patterns and the Trump supporters who don’t take Trumpisms all that seriously.
It’s worth a listen if for no other reason than to remember how most folks could disagree agreeably in the US about politics long ago. We may have to wait until half of the folks my age or older die before we get to this point again.
It remains to be seen if my fears are overblown. For the time being I will, with trepidation, rely on Trump supporters to make sure Trump doesn’t use his majority in the three branches of our Federal Government to do the most outrageous things he promised he would do.
George McGovern and Today’s Internet
In 1972 I picked up a piece of Anti-George McGovern literature that claimed he was a commie and that his World War II heroism was a fraud. I was deeply incensed. How many voters got this or similar pieces I have no idea. It was financed by fans of paranoid organizations like the John Birch society.
That solitary piece of propaganda is a drop compared to the Internet ocean of lies that dispersed on the Internet this year. Because of the way folks on the Internet get their info I saw very little of it. Not so those sympathetic to change. The Internet is a little like Niagara Falls and too many voters stand directly underneath it with funnels in their mouths.
NPR Joan Kroc
I do not get most of my news from Facebook. I get some of my best information from National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System. These have been targeted for closure by Republicans almost as rabidly as they threw obstacles in the way of poor and minority voters.
I have a plutocrat to thank for protecting them from Congress. I got that story from NPR today as well.
She gave the Salvation Army ten times as much as she gave NPR.