Monday, January 7, 2019

I Know... But I Don't Know

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."  -- Martin Luther King Jr.

Timing can be a funny thing. When I started this essay in late November 2018, the Trump Shutdown was just a talking point for the media, an event that everyone was cautiously optimistic would never happen.  

In fact, it almost didn't until the POTUS lied again for the ten millionth time (actually, over 7,600 lies in two years) and flipped on Congress, whom he had assured that he'd accept their budget deal to keep the government funded. They were already jetting home for the holidays when the Lying Liar lied again and rejected the GOP-approved budget deal.

Lying is what Trump does, has always done and most assuredly will continue to do. So here we are, experiencing the third government shutdown of his Presidency.

Reality has a way of exposing itself to us in advance, even when we choose not to acknowledge it, or to think things through, or to consider the consequences of our poor judgement. As an example, here's a list of some extremely negative human personality flaws:

Hatred. Bigotry. Ignorance. Stupidity. Misogyny. Criminality. Greed. Venality. Disloyalty. Infidelity. Insincerity. Treachery. Duplicity. Hypocrisy. Mendacity. Fraudulence. Conceit.

These are only some of the character traits of our illustrious 45th President, Donald J. 'Stable Genius' Trump, the man who proudly claims to know more about everything than anyone else on the planet.

During his adult life, he exhibited all of these traits and never tried to pretend otherwise because... well, because he didn't have to. As a so-called 'Master of the Universe', his behavior could be as awful and low as possible and yet he was never held accountable for it. Wealth, privilege and power does that, the very definition of 'Affluenza'.

Nevertheless, he was awarded the keys to The White House by people who knew who and what he was beforehand and voted for him anyway.

He's loved by the KKK... by neo-Nazis... by virulent racists... by aggrieved white people who fear they will soon become the minority race in our country (and that fear is based on their current M.O. of hatred and bigotry towards minorities... get it?). He's loved by the uninformed and/or willfully ignorant who don't know or care about facts or truth or reality or anything they haven't seen on Fox News or read on Infowars or heard directly from the puckered POTUS lips.

I keep hearing the same questions asked over and over and over again: "Why do so many people still support Donald Trump? He's incompetent, he's a pathological liar, he's accomplished nothing positive, his actions are criminal and borderline why do over 85% of Republicans stick by him?"

I know why, and it really has nothing to do with his disastrous stint at the helm of our listing Ship of State.

It has nothing to do with his moronic foreign and domestic policies... his ignorance of history... his pandering to regressive evangelicals... his grifting of the office for personal gain.

I absorb countless amounts of news and commentary each week to see if someone...ANYONE... will connect the dots and explain why, oh why do so many Amerikkans seem oblivious to the man's horrific ineptness. Rarely does any of the punditocracy connect the dots... except perhaps for My Dear Rachel Maddow (I  LOVE her Big Brain).

In fact, the reason is simple and it precedes Trump's short tenure.

The reason so many Conservatives and Republicans still support Donald Trump is because they cannot and will not allow themselves to admit they made a huge error in judgement by picking him to run the country. They refuse to acknowledge their disastrous choice, so they double-down with their support... damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead with the Trump Shitstorm, as long as there are Liberal tears to be shed.

Willful ignorance of reality, slavish dedication to horrible behavior, complete lack of self-awareness.

Think I'm wrong? 

It really started with the Bush 43 Presidency... you know, the election that also resulted in a President who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral vote, not with help from Russia but with the help of an activist Supreme Court. You remember W, right? He WAS considered the worst POTUS in modern times until the current resident of The White House defiled those stately halls, calling it 'a dump'.

Now, I've sorta grown fond of W in his post-Presidency, but only because I've come to understand that although he was inept and made one bad decision after another, at least he seemed to do the best that he could. However, by the end of his tenure he'd bankrupted our economy, entangled us in two needless wars of aggression, blown up the deficit, caused the loss of 800,000 jobs a month, and enacted regressive laws that restricted individual freedoms.

The W presidency was a disaster, and by the time the 2008 General Election rolled around, our country was gripped in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Thankfully, we kept our cool and elected 'That One' over McCain (R.I.P.) and watched BHO take the helm and steer our ship away from the icebergs and into open, breezy waters for eight years of semi-smooth sailing.  44 saved our nation from a complete meltdown and deserves no small amount of credit for it.

The Congressional GOP were having NONE OF THAT, nosiree.

On the evening of Barry's inauguration, the GOP Big Dogs met in a D.C. steakhouse to plan their 100% obstruction of anything... ANYTHING... that The Black Guy would try to do. They didn't care that their policies and governance had already decimated every aspect of our country. They didn't care that millions of Americans had suffered at their hands during the W years. They didn't care that tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans had died as a direct result of their horrific attempt at nation building.

The GOP refused to accept that they had failed miserably.  They refused to accept their responsibility for having governed so poorly.  They rejected any blame for anything and refused to acknowledge their poor choices. Instead, they doubled-down on their awful brand of governing and placed loyalty to their party ahead of the country's best interests. 

They could not and would not allow themselves to admit they were terrible at governing. They refused to acknowledge that their disastrous policies had wrought such havoc, so they enacted total obstruction of The Black Guy... damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead with the Disloyal Opposition Shitstorm, as long as there were Liberal tears to be shed.

Willful ignorance of reality, slavish dedication to horrible behavior, complete lack of self-awareness. 

Guess who else practices this same kind of fealty to a regressive ideology?

Followers of The Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church, a worldwide organization full of sexual predators, molesters, pedophiles and miscreants, protected and sheltered and hidden away and moved around the world in order to keep them away from law enforcement.

The Catholic Church, a tax-free entity that has paid out billions of dollars in settlements to maintain their ability to stay ahead of the law, to keep degenerate priests out of jail and on the prowl.

The Catholic Church. No matter how many times they're shown to have accepted and accommodated the worst kind of human behavior among their leaders, their members seem unfazed and unconcerned enough to actually do anything about it.

Sound familiar? 

How is it that people of faith who profess to follow the teachings of their current version of the Bible... how is it that so many of their leaders can be as degenerate as imaginable, yet they still support the Catholic church and it's leaders?

They cannot and will not allow themselves to admit their own religious leaders are the worst representatives of their ideology. They refuse to acknowledge that their church leader's inhuman behavior has wrought such havoc, so they enact total willful ignorance of the horrific behavior and pretend it doesn't exist... damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead with the Sectarian Shitstorm, as long as there are Non-believer tears to be shed and law enforcement to be avoided.

Willful ignorance of reality, slavish dedication to horrible behavior, complete lack of self-awareness.

See?  See what I did there?

There's an almost religious fervor among Trump supporters and the Congressional GOP that, to my jaundiced eye, is exactly the same as followers of The Catholic Church. In each case, what appears to us on the outside as incredibly misguided loyalty is somehow not an issue for them. We ask ourselves, "How in the world can these people not see or understand that their loyalty, their trust, their dedication is totally misplaced?"

Don't worry... they see it all JUST FINE. They just choose to ignore it.

And that's the rub.  Trump supporters, the Congressional GOP, followers of the Catholic Church... they all make a conscious decision to ignore what they see with their own eyes and pretend they're on a righteous path to their greater reward. They'll accept the worst kind of behavior as long as they get what they want.  Life as a series of moral, ethical and philosophical transactions.

I know this is our reality, but I don't know how or why people can make these reprehensible choices. 

I know there are perceived short-term gains to be had with these awful choices, but I don't know how they can be justified in the long view. 

I know that spite and hatred and bigotry and vengeance can be powerful motivators, but I don't know how personally/ethically/morally corrosive choices can be rationalized over and over and over again.

It boggles my mind. 

Human beings are frail and flawed creatures. Only our self-awareness and intellect and compassion and empathy for others separates us as at the supposed top of the ladder from all other creatures.

Self-awareness and intellect and compassion and empathy for others seems to be totally devoid from the make-up of Donald J. 'Stable Genius' Trump. While over 800,000 federal employees are out of work because of the insane government shutdown... while thousands of migrant children are separated from their parents and being held prisoner for the misdemeanor crime of crossing the border without documents... while laws that prevent pollution of our air and land and water are being gutted... while all of this is going on, our eminent POTUS will not suffer or care for even a millisecond. 

I know Donald Trump doesn't care or concern himself with the suffering of others, but how he can live with the disastrous results of his decisions? 

Willful ignorance of reality, slavish dedication to horrible behavior, complete lack of self-awareness?  Perhaps. History will certainly judge him harshly, but for now I think the answer is obvious: He doesn't know either. Never has, and probably never will.

"Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse." -- Nigerian Proverb

Lead image, Gracias de Google images; Blondie video Muchismas Gracias de; Impeach Donald Trump.

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