Saturday, February 24, 2018

Taking stock: truth, mayhem, and death

Taking a minuscule break from my breakneck studying routine, because it's important.

Time is running short, so I'll be brief, and then follow my nose back into the books.

I have from time to time posted about politics. Last year I posted a vlog about truth. Prior to that I posted about the risks of the Trump presidency, here, and here.

I wasn't surprised when some thought I was overreacting, that things would never be that bad. After all, lies and meaningless bluster don't kill, right?

There are elections looming now. There's still time to think carefully, and to consider the importance of truth, no matter what your particular stripe might be. And to vote.

Here are some sobering thoughts to help with that chore.


Peter Sanderson said...

What about the Truth in the United Sates and the problem with it. I talk daily with clients and friend in the USA. The problem is that the two truths are so opposite that one side will not even listen to the other. For example, one fellow told me that he would not be lectured on guns by people who kill babies. But more importantly, Fox News and Breitbart News followers would not even watch the video you posted because it is MSNBC. Similarly my Democratic friends would never watch a news report from Breitbart or Fox News. So in reality what is happening is that each news agency is preaching to the choir, their choir.

David Masse said...

Sad but true Peter.

Yet there are truths.

Arming teachers is not a helpful response to this horrible incident. It is thoughtless, hollow, and stupid, It is one more obstacle to sensible action that might save lives when the next unbalanced student looks to settle a grievance. In that way, this ignorant suggestion is reckless. How many more weeks before the next tragedy? This distracting shameful charade means Trump will surely have the blood of those future victims on his hands.

There is a crisis of morality and integrity in the US. To say that this is about politics is wrong. Politics is about whether to raise or lower taxes, whether to bid for the Olympics, whether to have merit-based immigration.

Reckless disregard for truth, ethics, integrity, and responsible public service violates the fundamental tenets of democracy. That is certainly not politics. It is behaviour that destroys social order, behaviour that is sanctioned by courts, and that legislatures worthy of the name work earnestly to proscribe, denounce, and repress.

Sitting idly by and witnessing this in silence is not something I can do.

No one should.

Dar said...

A very dear friend family has been impacted by US gun violence. His son was in Las Vegas and was shot and it was touch and go. Luckily by God's grace he survived, but it has been life changing for the family and their son. I will never understand the need to have guns available and the lack of willingness to do anything about the problem and the fact that they deny there is a problem. I can not get my head around this.

As for the President he has a problem with truth and reality, which really is the core of the issue, his distance from truth and reality allows him not to be accountable for what it going on in the country he governs. The buck stops at his desk and his willingness to constantly shift blame and bloviate about potential ridiculous solutions just allows the stagnation of the ongoing problem while blithely ignoring reasonable and sensible solutions. There is more to this than just the president, it also comes down to all the republicans who have blindly backed him, when they at one time found him to be repugnant and without moral fortitude and cast doubt about him, but blindly followed in the end and set aside their ethical and moral compass once he was elected, all the while they have at their fingertips the tools to make meaningful change and stand up and say what it going on is unacceptable. They have sold their souls and I believe history will show them for what they really were spineless and too willing to put party over country. With each day that moves forward I find it sadder and sadder as the damage that is being done may be beyond repair and I think has the potential to shake US democracy to it's very foundation and the worldwide ramifications of this are huge. There is a war on ethics, morality, decency, and the divisiveness that has been created pits citizen against citizen and this creates chaos and this appears to be what this president likes, but unfortunately it also creates a vacuum effect and something far worse may fill that void. With recent developments of large numbers GOP senators retiring, it seems the rats are abandoning ship, but they should still be held accountable for their part in the travesty that they helped create.

The one good thing is it is mobilizing people to become involved in democracy by running for positions and voting. I think as once was said in history "I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant" and that giant is going to be the young people. Lots of heavy thoughts for a Wednesday.

David Masse said...

Dar I can't imagine the pain of a loved one felled by mindless and largely preventable violence.

Based on more recent events, I see a pattern with Mr. Trump. This is a man who is largely and willfully ignorant, who does not hesitate for a moment to declare what he thinks in the moment without any kind of reasoned and informed thought. In that way he is like a weather vane, constantly swinging and shifting in the winds of Twitter and Fox & Friends, without regard to policy, or truth, history, or consequence. Anyone who attempts to inform or advise him in a considered and serious way or to implement what is thought to be his policy, is soon cast adrift and finds themselves subject to scorn and ridicule, as their leader pivots mindlessly between irreconcilable positions that defy any kind of logic: punishing tarifs now, then not; TPP thrown out, then not, then in limbo; troops in Syria yes, then no, then... who knows. Rain fire and fury on North Korea, or meet for a cordial lunch, or who knows what. The common denominator that explains it all is the massive ego at the centre of the storm, and what suits his fancy at any given moment, like a pig at a buffet: snout in the potato salad, crapping in the appetizers, with filthy hooves firmly planted in the salads at one end, and the entrées at the other, with extra scoops of ice cream to top it all off.

How anyone agrees to serve in his administration is beyond my comprehension. Anyone who does sullies their reputation inevitably. If I were Nikki Haley I'd be grabbing my hat and coat and heading for the door. She is clearly wasting her time, risking her reputation, and destined to accomplish absolutely nothing of value.

Thanks for joining the rant, I really appreciate it.

If only one person reads this and casts a vote to end this nightmare episode, it will have been well worth the words.

Dar said...

I was told by someone I know in the US that as I Canadian I had no skin in the game because I'm not a US citizen and can't vote in their elections, but contrary to what she thinks, I think we all do have skin in the game, the world wide ramifications of the twitter presidency is that it is so volatile that words can and do spark wars. Elected officials should not be allowed to use twitter and social media platforms in this manner. It matters what people say and I don't want to see us implode because of the ignorant twitter rantings of someone who is catastrophically incompetent to do the job they were elected to do. The blind following is ridiculous and I just do not understand how people can not see that he is not in it for their country, but for himself and benefits to his family and businesses. Each day a new scandal breaks and he seems to be human Teflon and if it was anyone else they would have lost everything.

I am not too sure if I feel sorry for anyone who works for him, as they clearly can see the lay of the land and they have to know that at some point they are going to be a target or brought down by it. I did get a chuckle at your 'pig buffet analogy'. I am waiting for the nightmare to end, I am sick and tired of hearing all the claptrap from the US and worrying about nuclear destruction.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.