Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Blurred Lines

Wow, this has been an election cycle to remember.  I am both dreading and waiting for this one to be over.  As someone who is always looking for blame I am picking reality television for this one.

We are at a point where celebrity equals outrageousness instead of talent. When cameras follow around an aging rock star, or a family built around a sex video, or even the uneducated behaving badly we can laugh it off as they head to the bank. Except this time it has permeated our democracy.  Just the other day a NBC broadcaster touted that “this is the biggest reality show vote”. No lady, this is our government.

When commentators like Bill O’Reilly (full disclosure: a fellow Levittownian) and his Killing Historical Facts series replaces true researchers and historians such as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Max Hastings, or David McCullough we better take notice. Quick answers are not necessarily the correct ones and we should not confuse popularity with credibility.

When Trump keeps yelling about the election being rigged, or conspiracies and repeats his dogmatic catch phrases it reminds me of this quote:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”  –AH

Now I’m not comparing Trump to Hitler. He’s more like Mussolini, but hey I’m an optimist. However, he does run his campaign like a brown shirt. And it is because of this lack of separating reality from reality TV shows that has gotten the U.S., and in particular the republican party in this quandary.  But I don’t think that is the only reason.

Many Americans are facing a new reality. In 1989, it was forecasted that white Americans of European descent will become the minority by 2050.  The east and west coasts has had diverse populations for over one hundred and fifty years and had their own issues of acclimating.  During the Irish potato famine (England’s genocide) when immigration was once again an issue, the slogan was NINA or No Irish Need Apply. Now it is reaching many conservative states with Hispanics and Middle Easterners. This benign racism can cause a real fear of job loss, land acquisitions and a change in lifestyle.  Someone help us! Take back America! But take it back from whom? Or for that matter for whom?

“I’m the only one that can fix our problems.” –DT

Obviously I am a Clinton supporter. More importantly, I am a supporter of democracy first, with a great respect for many in the Republican Party. Members who really care about service and dedication like John McCain, Cory Gardner, and Lindsey Graham.  No one loses an argument when it is with someone that also cares about the same thing. Clever, eh?

So I am asking my republican friends, who are more than a handful and hope that we stay friends, to preserve our republic by electing a dedicated public servant instead of one who has dedicated his life to private enrichment. Before you know it the four years will be up. This will give you time to regroup and get your house in order. At least you know there will still be a house.

Skull study. Pencil on toned paper.
This is about as optimistic as I can get these days.