Here is my most current (02/03/2018) commentary, “From My Corner,”
titled Trump vs Truth. The Link below will take you to the Video version on YouTube. The printed version is below this Link.
Thoughts on the potentially formidable outcome to America and Americans from another seven years of Trumpism.
FROM MY CORNER
The historical writer Arthur Hoyle comments at a farsighted point in his excellent biography of Henry Miller that eventually, “we shall see whether the ability to make money and the ability to survive are one and the same.”
America’s flirtation with its richly-unread president tests this premise to the limit. Never has the country elevated to such a high level one so uneducated, purely on the basis of his ability to ruthlessly scoop money into his bank accounts.
One must search far to discover men more different than Donald Trump and Henry Miller. Miller, all-too-narrowly known for his sexually explicit writing, was an extremely well-read man, whose total body of writing was far more profound and far-reaching than his earliest books suggested.
Particularly, Miller wrote in the same vein as Thoreau and Whitman: from a somewhat mystical perspective of mankind as the tiniest possible, but most important, speck of life in an unfathomably immense and controversial universe.
Meanwhile, Trump twitters solely and persistently from the most superficially possible perspective: his own earthly self-aggrandizement. Miller was seeking an understanding of humanity. Trump seeks the financial bottom line.
Trump, who never exhibits any tendency toward self reflection, let alone humility, glorifies the acquisition of wealth. Miller stands for the idealistic concept of humanity capable of constituting its own divinity. The difference between the two viewpoints could hardly be more pronounced.
Following The State of The Union address, the adjective that comes to my mind describing America at this point is: “tragic.”
As example, note that Trump poses the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal and his desire to massively update it, as a necessity – since, he explains, humans are not yet ready to discard it. For him, that justifies the expansion of this obscenity.
Any thought that his political role might require him to lead the world in discarding atomic weapons utterly eludes his intellectual grasp. He never mentions the billions of dollars of profits to be earned by so many as he guides America toward this goal.
Consecutively, the most tragic aspect of our nation’s political condition at the moment is the supine complicity of America’s middle class with Mr. Trump’s ambitions. Much of mainstream press has passively declined comment on many of his viewpoints, as have members of the political party he has so distorted, and even a few Democrats.
This glib professional salesman has finally learned how, via teleprompter, to turn the phrases that appeal to the largely-inarticulate middle class. He begins now with his speech-writers’ words, to attempt to enlarge his supportive voting base.
This moment is reminiscent of pre-World War II, when Great Britain’s leaders began to believe the words of another master of propaganda. And did so despite the accumulated facts contradicting their naïve embrace of his counterfeit rhetoric.
Trump has belittled America’s science; he has belittled the world’s environment; he has belittled various of its races; he has denied factual truths; he has exalted lies. And, as their advertising dollars have flowed, our media have gradually become remarkably complicit.
One can begin to foresee another seven years of this distortion of truth. When the people of a country dismiss such destructive actions, camouflaged by manufactured alternative truths, a disastrous line is crossed.
When a nation’s people begin to trade in truth for well-mouthed words, promising them security from imagined enemies, such as desperate refugee immigrants, the die begin to be cast for a perilous future.
It has been said, and proven time and again by domineering autocratic personalities, that if one tells a lie long enough, a nation’s people will eventually accept it as truth.
The truth of this trite saying appears to be emerging in America.
The danger to anticipate is whether a narcissistically sociopathic personality may become a psychopathic one. If it does, its emergence will lie directly at the feet of a American middle class insecure about its own culture. And the consequences to them will be formidable.