Monday, February 20, 2017

Something's Fishy in the USA

How does Fox News hook people and keep them hooked? And why can't anyone on the left manage to do anything remotely close? These are tough questions. I've read entire books that try to answer them and come away still shaking my head. What worthwhile endeavor on earth can working people expect from Donald Trump?  Sure, he'll stand there and say he cares about you, but he doesn't precisely put his money where his mouth is. In fact, it looks more like he puts his money where his money is.

How do coal miners watch him spend millions of federal dollar weekending at his 200K per head Florida resort and think, "This guy is gonna make my life better"? Well, here's a guy who keeps a life-sized cardboard cutout of Donald Trump and wishes him well each and every day. I wonder if he drives with him in the HOV lane.

Anytime you have fanatical ideologues you will hear things that amaze and disturb you. Their religion is the best. If you don't join, you're going to hell. Their ideology is the only one that's right, and it doesn't matter if their leaders are wrong. So what if they live in a golden penthouse while you live in a shack? That's just a temporary thing, and any day you'll be living in a penthouse too. That's why it's wise to keep taxes low for the rich. Sure, it's inconvenient now, but you never know.

What was really stupid was getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine, which eventually enabled Fox News. Now people can sit in front of it and tell themselves how smart and cool they are. Oddly, when I was in East Berlin in the 80s, they sold Pravda on every corner and no one bought it. If the folks running Fox ran Pravda the wall would never have come down.

I can't watch Fox for any length of time without hurling things at the television, a practice my wife very much frowns upon. Also, I have more than enough things to go crazy about in my real life, and I don't really much need any more. One of them is Donald Trump. I literally wake up in the middle of the night, think that he's President, and can't get back to sleep.

I'm not sure what exactly you need to believe to be a Trump supporter. It's hard for me to understand xenophobia, as I work with kids from every corner of the earth and it's one of the greatest joys of my life. But we're afraid of what we don't understand. When I see, "Make America Great Again," it looks very much like, "Make America White Again." I don't like to assume that people are racist or bigoted, but it's tough for me to imagine they aren't.

What the hell is it that this man does well? He can't open his mouth without jamming his foot into it. He watches crap about Sweden on Fox and all of a sudden the whole country is on fire. Politifact has him at 50% false. I don't know about you, but I don't find that remotely inspiring in a leader. And his famous thin skin, which causes him to criticize the press when it dares to tell the truth, is particularly disturbing.

The very worst thing about Donald Trump, though, is that his need for adulation could easily provoke him to war. That's the best way for him to rationalize doing what he wants to do, and making it unpatriotic to criticize him. I don't actually think he'll select China, as he and Ivanka make money producing their cheap crap over there. But you never know--he could decide he needs the press to shut up, and may think martial law is worth producing Donald Trump ties in Bangladesh, or even (perish forbid) Mexico.

Americans have already died in the service of Donald Trump, and I see no evidence that he wouldn't send thousands of our young people to the same fate in order to comfort his sensitive ego. Hopefully even the GOP will see what a bad bargain it's made and remove this dangerous evil clown from office sooner rather than later.
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