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Category: Politics

Truth is Irrelevant, if that Helps
Trump supporters, when explaining their enduring faith in our President, often point to the way he “tells it like it is.” This rationale has long been a source of wonder to me. Until recently, that is.

What had stumped me was the disconnect between their perception and the mountain of evidence showing that almost everything he says is not true. What was even more perplexing was that his supporters seem to know that he regularly gets his facts wrong. How can that be?

I have finally solved that conundrum, and now that I have, in retrospect the explanation seems so obvious. When Trumpers say he tells it like it is, they are not talking about the factual basis for his declarations. Instead they are agreeing with his conclusions. This is not about evidence, then, but about a confirmation of what they feel is true.

In this universe of “truth” dictated by feelings, the mainstream news has to be fake. That's the only way to explain why the so-called facts contradict what our feelings tell us. The team of career prosecutors investigating Trump must be part of a secret deep state conspiracy. Why else would they keep investigating collusion and criminality that we know don’t exist? Of course immigrants and elitists are working together to destroy America. Why wouldn’t they?

I’m still not sure where these people’s feelings come from. Perhaps changes in our culture have made the Trumpers uneasy. When the majority of their fellow citizens have come to accept ideas they find troubling, even threatening, we should expect them to freak out. Add to this their frustration from generations of unfulfilled political promises (unless we count Obamacare, which for some reason they don’t), and we might get a glimpse of their rage. We should not be surprised when that rage seeks out some way to feel righteous — even if it has no basis in fact. I don’t really get it, but I have to acknowledge that it exists.

Even if I can’t fully empathize with their anger, however, at least now I can stop trying to make sense of their thought process. There isn’t one. It is their emotions we need to contend with, not their tortured logic.

I wish I found that realization more comforting.
President Idiot
I may have been premature in my blog of October 11 last year. “President Moron” was the title. As I explained in that piece, it was not I who was calling our president a moron, but rather his hand-picked Secretary of State, the estimable Rex Tillerson. Who better, I suggested at the time, to judge the intelligence of his boss than someone who worked closely with him on matters of great import?

The answer could only be someone who had worked even more closely with the President over a longer period of time on a broader range of issues. His Chief of Staff John Kelly, for instance, might be able to give a credible, informed assessment of the Commander in Chief’s mental state. We learned this week that General Kelly has provided that assessment (repeatedly, according to sources), and for the record he considers the President to be an “idiot.”

Again, this is not my opinion that I am reporting. It comes from a person close to the President who was also hand-picked for his position by his boss. It is that person’s opinion we are talking about here. He is an ally and a servant of the man he is judging, and he thinks that man is an idiot. I don’t have any regrets about the “President Moron” blog. I was citing the most reliable information available when I wrote it. Still, I don’t like having to update such findings. I try to be accurate in such matters just in case someone’s feelings may be hurt somehow in the course of my eagerness to inform others.

Perhaps I worry too much. “Moron” and “idiot” are often used interchangeably in ordinary discourse — to mean deeply stupid. My guess is that Kelly and Tillerson, though they apparently had differences on matters of style and policy, would surely agree that the President is deeply stupid. However, it is possible that they were actually quite careful in their choice of words. There was a time when psychologists parsed IQ scores in differentiating between idiots and morons. Under this now-outdated system, idiots (whose IQs ranged between 0 and 24) were classed lower than morons. A moron’s IQ might go as high as 70.

As I say, psychology has moved on from these unfortunate classifications, but they might still be useful today in answering this question: Just how stupid is Donald Trump? If his two close associates were using their words precisely, then we can say that General Kelly thinks the President is a lot stupider than Secretary Tillerson does.

But who to believe? Is he a moron or is he an idiot? In the interests of even-handed reporting, perhaps we should split the difference. In that old rating system there was a third category between the other two that described those whose IQs ranged between 25 and 50. Such people were referred to as “imbeciles.”

So, I will henceforth refer to Donald Trump as “President Imbecile.” Just to be fair.
To Summit Up
Kim Jong Un is
A dingy despot
He keeps The Button
On his desktop

He’ll discuss those nukes
With Donald Trumpfish
Whose expertise
Is Forrest Gumpish

A lunatic
An ignoramus
What could go wrong?
Ask Nostradamus
Toke Up, Woke Up
Yes, it is true that we live in troubled, dangerous times. Chaos, mendacity, and willful ignorance are ascendant. Community has given way to individual aggrievement. The specter of oppression looms like a many-headed Hydra over our liberal democracy.

It is also true that we all know these things, so what is the sense in dwelling on them? We have to fight the darkness at every turn, yes, but if we become obsessed with this ugliness, then it will drag us down with it. We will need to be there, whole and ready, when the tsunami of stupid blows over and reason returns at last. So look on the bright side, I say. Light up that big Pollyanna doobie and take a nice, long hit. That’s it…now kick back…let go of the dread…cast your mind forward to a better time and a better world. It looks pretty good to me — in large part because of Donald J. Trump and his enablers.

Hear me out. Who is to say that reliable print media could have survived without the rise of fake news and strategic lying? Subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post have soared during this period because, all of a sudden, the value of truth has become so obvious. Newspapers were at the brink of death until the rising tide of bullshit made them indispensible. And that tide flows right out of the President’s mouth.

Similarly, the latest step forward in gender equality would not have happened so soon were it not for the harasser-in-chief. Millions of women were so outraged by his election that they came together in the #metoo movement and demanded that things must change. And they have changed — years before they might have. I’m not ready to thank His Repellency for that, but his rise to power has certainly clarified our thinking and galvanized us into action.

Activism itself, such a vital force within any free society, has been energized. People with strong opinions on every subject are stepping up to be heard, and violence does not seem to be a part of this trend. These movements — like the Parkland student uprising and the teacher strikes — are about righteousness, not partisan advantage. We need them. In fact, I predict that there is a healing coming for all of us. There’d better be, or none of us will survive on this shrinking, increasingly afflicted planet. Trumpsters, no matter how exasperated you may be with them, had to be brought inside the circle. They have been marginalized or ignored for too long, and we can’t afford to leave anybody behind. None of this could have happened so quickly if the last election had gone as expected. It’s the Trump Effect, and it came just in time.

Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s the doobie talking. And maybe you’re right, but we’ll never get anywhere by mainlining the opioid of despair. And so, I call your attention the bright side: our society was due for an upgrade anyway. If we keep our heads straight and seize the opportunity provided by this near-death experience, the Age of Aquarius is just around the corner.

Care for another toke?
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon