“Falsehood, like the dry-rot, flourishes the more in proportion as air and light are excluded.”
– Richard Whately
Trump Reality Disconnect
As Americans, we like predictability in a president. Predictability that is, if it is founded on strength of character and a commitment to serve the nation as a whole, rather than one party or one contingent of voters.
We like, most of us do at least – the predictability of decision making based on sound judgment, with the lodestar being that of the rule of law, not the rule of self interest or political expediency.
Unfortunately, what we are experiencing with the impeached president, Donald J. Trump, is a national nightmare that repeats itself daily, in a predictable manner, fraught with extreme risks to national security and our constitutional order.
Nothing can be more insidious than a leader that lies, misleads and promotes fictional constructs patently devoid of fact.
One of the literary – perhaps in my case, journalistic, devices I often resort to, is the trope of a planet where reality and the gravitational force of established facts, is mirrored in reverse to ours.
I conveniently borrow the name of a planet astronomers have been observing for some time now – Kepler 186f, a planet which is comparable in size (slightly larger) to our earth. It is prospectively, according to NASA scientists, within a habitable zone of its Red Dwarf star, Kepler 186; is approximately 550 light years from us and conceivably could support human life of some type.
I like to say that what is true on Kepler 186f is demonstrably false on earth and vice versa. And in that rhetorical contrivance or metonymy, Trump would be an entirely suitable authoritarian on Kepler186f, based on my proposition, because every deceitful utterance and fallacious pronouncement he issues here, would be accurate there.
But Trump is not president of Kepler 186f, he’s the leader of the free world (at present) on planet Terra, in the worst sense possible. Essentially on an hour to hour basis, Trump re-certifies his fundamental disqualifications for public service.
With that established – and it is well established, I couldn’t help finding an item the official White House website published today as constituting the absolute Everest summit of absurdity. WhiteHouse.gov posted a link to a laughable opinion piece published on Fox News. The title? “Trump’s Style of Leadership is a Plus in This Kind of Crisis.” An excerpt:
“I have participated in tabletop exercises involving pandemic response; indecision is both seductive and dangerous, as Japan and South Korea are finding out,” former Sen. Jim Talent writes for Fox News. “President Trump, on the other hand, responded quickly and effectively, shutting down flights from China in January to give officials time to prepare. Trump’s style of leadership is on balance a plus in this kind of a crisis. He is neither afraid to make decisions nor overly concerned about being criticized for the decisions he makes. That is vital.”
This neck snapping “Say Whaaaat?“ moment, is the vertex of the syndrome of propositional statements devoid of reality. Frank Sonnenberg, author and advocate on character values and ethics, has a good quote on this sort of, seemingly minute by minute assault on reality:
by Richard Cameron
Former Vice President, Joe Biden, in a campaign visit to a Detroit area auto manufacturing plant, in which he met with UAW workers, had a bit of a tense engagement with one particular union member, in which the worker challenged him on his record as it relates to the 2nd Amendment.
The man told Biden that he was “actively trying to end our Second Amendment right.” Biden became combative and according to witnesses, replied that, “You’re full of shit” and asked, “do you need 100 rounds?”. Additionally, Biden injected the names of certain firearms that don’t exist – for example, referring to an “AR-14”.
Perhaps this is not a big deal since, most people are familiar with Biden’s largely innocent and unintentional misstatements and because by most accounts, despite the incident, Biden was generally very well received by the large group of United Auto Workers present. Was the guy that trolled Joe, a Republican or NRA plant? We don’t know at this point. Nevertheless, it is something of an Achilles’ Heel with Biden.
But some added that Joe Biden also asked the individual, who has yet to be identified in press reports, “You Wanna go outside with me?” If you are a proponent of Joe Biden, that should be something you would likely want Biden’s campaign to get under control in short order. That, in baseball parlance, is an unforced error.
My thinking, from studying the habits of political consultants and strategists, to inform my character’s actions and motivations when I played one on TV – is that Biden’s handlers should cut down somewhat on his campaign schedule and conduct more prepping and role playing sessions if Joe would be a-Biden by such a constructive effort. Pun intended.
Some center left Democrat friends, tell me every time we chat, that if Trump agrees to debate either Biden or Bernie, whichever becomes the nominee, should look directly over at Trump and tell him to his face, “Donald Trump – you are a goddamned liar!” Hard to dispute that argument. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Some, no doubt, would say of Biden, as Trump apologists say of Trump, “Let Biden, be Biden”. Not sure if I would go that far. Certainly it is true that as a matter of comparison, Trump is Godzilla when it comes to saying incredibly idiotic things and appearing crass and indecent to all but his cult following.
But Biden needs to discipline himself at the present moment. He takes one good step forward with the broad narrative of being the best candidate to beat Trump – and then he takes two steps backwards with the factual inaccuracies and the misstatements.
Trump’s lane for re-election is for sure, as narrow as narrow can be, but why shouldn’t Biden and his campaign, strive to present himself in the most favorable light to the voters who will really decide the election in November, still undecided independents?
by Richard Cameron
Tobin Smith, friend of National Compass and author of “Foxocracy – Inside The Network’s Playbook Of Tribal Warfare”, submitted a summary of the antics and dysfunction of Trump during the past week, week and a half.
It’s remarkable, even against the backdrop of Trump’s conduct over the last 3 plus years, as Tobin tells me.
He says, “I understand that this POTUS is not a ‘normal politician’. I understand that to 35% of American voters he is a giant fat middle finger to those WASP folks who they rightfully feel sold them into lower middle class slavery. But the reality show shtick can only go so far…he is running out of bullets to entertain the bread and circus crowd.”
- He replaced acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney with Rep. Mark Meadows. Hid third chief of staff. He “did not immediately offer an explanation for the swap,” CNN’s story noted.
- He casually insisted that the novel corona virus “will go away.”
- He “repeatedly second-guessed and waved off the actual medical professionals standing next to him,” as WaPo’s David Nakamura wrote. “He attacked his Democratic rivals — including calling Washington Gov. Jay Inslee a ‘snake’ for criticizing his response — and chided a CNN reporter for smiling and called her network ‘fake news.'”
- He promoted Fox News during the CDC photo-op, and asked about the ratings for his Thursday night town hall on Fox.
- He contradicted VP Mike Pence by claiming that “anybody that needs a test can have a test” for corona virus. Pence previously admitted that “we don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.”
- He invoked his “perfect” call with Ukraine, and in so doing, “the president indicated he continues to see the coronavirus outbreak as a threat to his presidency at least as much as he sees it as a threat to the country,” NYMag’s Chas Danner wrote.
- Re: Mulvaney’s exit, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle reacted to the breaking news by channeling a source of hers, a former senior Trump admin official: “When you’re the guy telling the president the truth, he gets angrier, angrier and angrier, and then he shows you the door…”
- Sam Stein tweeted: “More Everyone knows the perfect time to switch your chief of staff is when a global epidemic is really starting to heat up…”
We’ve been providing practical guidance on best practices to at least mitigate your risks against contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, despite the fumbling of the federal response and abysmal leadership from Trump and his administration. Here’s one, if you missed it:
We also examined the role of “Social Darwinism”, an abiding worldview of Republicanism, in terms of how the GOP, the Trump media and the Tea Party that intersects with it, are politically positioning this public health crisis:
Below, is an example of how negligent the administration has been and how such dysfunction adds up to more adverse outcomes when dealing with an epidemic such as COVID-19. It is a letter from a nurse to her union, California Nurses Association. It illustrates how, as it is said, “crap rolls downhill.”
And to lighten things up a bit, here is one of the younger members of the resistance – and someone whose future is most at stake from the outcome of the election in November.