Have you made it this far? Kudos for your durability. Okay, those of you who know me well know that I am a mouth-breathing Conservative wacko who automatically likes anyone with an (R) next to their name and believes anything they say. Right?
If you're laughing right now, that means you actually do know me fairly well, and may have even thought about some of the political things I've written here. If, however, you believe the above, then you might as well stop reading right now, because you've already decided what I'm about to say and you disagree with it.
I am writing this out of frustration with President Trump. Well, not so much him as all the kerfuffle (that's a technical term) swirling around him. And right now, this kerfuffle seems to be centering on his campaign's relations with the Russian government.
I've been trying to figure out how the mechanics of this collusion works. The big crime appears to be the hacking of John Podesta's emails, relating to activities the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign undertook to undermine Bernie Sanders' campaign for the nomination. According to the outrage factory, Russian hackers, probably working at the behest of their government, did this to help Trump win the Presidency. As part of this, Senator Jeff Sessions, a noted Conservative and current US Attorney General, plotted with a Russian ambassador. And so, probably, did other members of the Trump team; possibly even The Donald himself.
So, what did they discuss? Were the Russians asking Trump's permission to do the hack? Or to release the information? Were they asking him for assistance, like his people knew more about hacking than they do? Or maybe the ambassador was just saying, "Hey, look what we got! Think we should drop this on Julian Assange? What do you think he'd do with?" Oh, I know! They'd never heard of Julian Assange, and were asking Sessions what they should do with all this groovy stuff!
What do you think they talked about? The presumption, I suppose, was that Sessions et al were asking Russia for help. Logically, it would have been the campaign that reached out to the Russians. As if the Russians 1) should give a shit who won, and 2) if they did, had to be prodded by the side they preferred to take this action. I'm sorry, but if this scenario doesn't sound absolutely ridiculous, then I'm afraid I have nothing more to say. Thank you for reading this far.
Still here? Wow. Okay. The premise that the Russians care who won is a sound one, and it's been reported - very quietly, in the current atmosphere - that the old Soviet Union used to try and undermine any candidate they didn't like. Surprised? Really?!? You honestly didn't know that? Hell, we do it, right out in the open. For instance, the last Israeli election, the Obama Administration and people from his campaign openly helped Netenyahu's opponents.
What I question is the idea that they actually worked with the Trump campaign, and did it this publicly. Trump sent Jeff Sessions? Not some nameless lackey? No, he sent his biggest supporter in the US Senate. If Russia had this information, and wanted to undermine Hillary, why bother talking to the Trump campaign at all? Some people have suggested that one of their motives for cutting Hillary's throat was to have something they could wave under Trump's nose later on. So why do it so openly that everybody would find out they had colluded? You mean, I've thought of this, and these professional espionage guys didn't?
And the next question would be, who gives a flying leap off a rolling donut? What was the hack, anyway?
First of fall, if it was a hack, it was walked straight into. Oh, Joe Frazier's hand is coming straight at my face. He must want to shake hands, so I'll step into it. What happened, according to reports from news sources that actually seem to prefer Hillary to The Donald, is that Podesta, or somebody from his staff, answered a spam email. They did what is widely known as a stupid thing, and clicked on an attachment. Oh, I feel so sorry for that Nigerian prince, or I really would like to see another naked picture of Britany Spears. Click. Children, that's what dumb-ass looks like.
Second, Julian Assange himself has, on several occasions, stated unequivocally that he didn't get the emails from the Russians. Not that anyone should take the word of someone who's claim to fame is digging out the truth and presenting it to the world. Actually, I'm still undecided what I think of this gentleman. I believe that national security is an important issue, but for all the fussing about the German premier's phone conversations and all, nobody seems to have died from it. The Bible tells us that the truth will set us free. There also seems to be a suspicious flexibility of opinion on he and WikiLeaks, in that when it's happening to your side, it's bad.
So what was done, was emails about how the DNC and the Clinton campaign colluded against Bernie (kind of like the Trump-ets and the Russians are accused of doing). In other words, what came out was THE TRUTH. I find it also a little suspicious that the Democratic Party, the Clinton Campaign, and the Obama Administration didn't see anything wrong with Russia annexing Crimea, attacking Ukraine, or putting boots on Syrian ground. But hack the Democratic Party's emails? I'm sorry, make it possible for an idiot to get hacked? Now, you've crossed the line.
So, this is the big story? This is supposed to be the basis for the impeachment of a brand-new President? This is why we shouldn't trust him; because he might have had a part in the truth getting out about his opponents and how they think and work? Maybe that's the thing; because he caught us doing it, he's gotta be doing it, too. Doesn't everybody? Actually catching them at it seems to be the crime.
At this point, the question arises; who suffers from a Trump presidency? And who would have, therefore, gained from a Hillary presidency? Who benefits from the status quo?
And don't try and feed me that bull about the downtrodden. I've listened to that crap since Johnson. If Carter, Clinton, Obama and Clinton are so good for blacks, hispanics, LBGT, the poor, etc., then how come fifty years later it doesn't seem to be any better for them?
(As a sidebar, the other day on BookFace I saw a link to a new group, dedicated to LBGT; Liquor, Bacon, Guns, and Tits. I haven't joined ... yet ...)
Big sigh here. I'm no expert. But I'm 61 years old, and for most of that time I've been paying attention to what goes on around me. I also try and think about it. I've got seat time in every wing of the political spectrum, and along my journey I've made some observations.
One is that, the biggest difference between liberal and conservative politicians is in how they manage society. And that is what they do, they manage it. Neither side really seems to be interested in fixing anything or helping anybody or freeing anybody. With Democrats, more public money gets spent on programs. With Republicans, more people work more hours. With one side, the economy flourishes; with the other, some roads get paved. But make no mistake, both sides like things just as they are.
But the status quo works! It really does. Especially in America. Just about everybody's got a place to sleep and food on a table, and a way to get around. In very real terms, our corrupt government is taking pretty good care of us. If Trump hadn't run, I'd have held my nose and voted for one of the other Republicans. Jeb Bush, or John Kasich, or even Jim Gilmore would be pretty good at managing the mess. Although, now that I think of it, I would have probably voted for Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina.
The above link is to a song by one of my favorite songwriters, Bruce Cockburn. The song is "The Trouble With Normal." And the trouble with normal is, it always gets worse. We're not supposed to care about the people who really control the world are doing with it. We are fortunate to live in a country where they've learned the value of keeping the general populace happy. Henry Ford figured out that, if he paid his factory workers more, they could buy the cars they built.
For the most part, the average American citizen doesn't have to worry about midnight raids, or our neighbors ratting us out for speaking our minds, or any of the other general symptoms of oppression. If more dictators could figure this out, there'd be more dictators.
The problem with that is, intelligent, compassionate people insist on pushing back. They insist on speaking truth against power, and pointing out where they and their neighbors are being ripped off. They say disruptive things like, if you're going to take a trillion dollars of our money for shovel-ready projects, how come my roads are still so friggin' rough?
So politicians develop tricks for managing this. They know how to keep a dynamic tension going on. One side talks about one set of things, and the other, the other. It's why Republicans don't talk about race relations or pollution. It's why Democrats don't talk about economic growth or a foreign policy that promotes democracy. They both talk like the issues that the other side focuses on don't exist. They dance around each other, and their news outlets spin and spin and get people who actually care (but don't waste a lot of time thinking) to stay wound up.
To be fair, there are politicians and journalists who really believe they're doing the right thing. These people are easy for the rest to manipulate. They should wise up.
Really, they're less the problem than the people pulling the strings, whoever they may be. The Rothchilds, Big Pharm, Big Oil, Archer-Daniels-Midlands, Monsanto, the list goes on and on. If those groups could ever get together, we're all in the stinky end of the pool. Fortunately, they're people, too. And each, in its grasping for domination, aren't interested in cooperating with the other Illuminati members. They each use the politicians and journalists their individual benefits, against us, only going after each other when necessary.
They don't even try very hard to keep their influence secret. I suspect they take a certain amount of pride in it. Just Google a phrase like, "How does big oil (or fill in the blank) rule the world?" and see what comes up. And it's probably only 10% of the real dirt. Clearly, George Soros and the Koch brothers can't do it all themselves.
Y'see, politicians and their patrons, in America particularly, have figured out an important truth. The average person in the streets comes in three basic flavors, regarding politics:
1) I don't care
2) They're all crooks, but I vote so that my side wins
3) Your side are all crooks, and my side are only a little bit crooks, but I really, really care and want the world to be a better place and so I speak out and vote on behalf of my side so that it wins.
The goal of most media - on both sides - is to feed the third group, and make the second group feel good about their choice of side. And maybe, a little, to entertain the first group. But that group would rather watch Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead, which seems a lot more realistic.
This is why I try and take my news from as many sources as possible. It's also why I don't write for this blog very much; because most things, I've either already written about, or I'm still thinking. And even after I've written, I keep thinking. Bad habit. But if you're into that thinking thing, and you really, really care, then you should collect as much data as you can in order to make a truly informed decision. I don't have a side. Scratch that; I'm on our side. All of ours side. And, yes, even the crooked bastards deserve to have someone on their side. Jesus loves them, why can't I?
Why do these blog posts always get so damned long? Why do I even bother? I suppose I do love to pontificate, and I can do it here without really bothering anybody. I've already given you permission, twice, to stop reading. Or maybe three times. But for the most part, I'm looked for feedback. I'm just smart enough to know what I don't know. I want somebody to wise me up. If you would please reply and tell me where you think I might be wrong, or bring up a point I apparently haven't thought of, I would honestly appreciate it. If I don't answer, it's because I'm thinking about it.
Which brings me to the gentleman pictured above. In my pre-Christian days I considered him one of my gurus, and still think he presents a good example. He ate wisely, loved passionately, and his favorite phrase was "I yam wut I yam, and dat's all wut I am."
When I think about politics, and how the game of it gets played, it always brings up another of his favorite catch phrases; "I jus can't stans it anymore!" This is his "Smarten up, you buncha chumps" pose. It's not even a pose; he's obviously on the move, prepared for action.
I think this is what the managers and owners of the status quo see when they look at Donald Trump. Someone who has made his, but instead of retiring to his estate in Florida has decided to give back. He sees what we see, and he's a good ways closer to the action than we are. He stands around the locker room at the club and, yes, he's made some crude remarks, but he also sees his comrades laughing up their sleeves as the unwashed rabble they manage. And he just couldn't stand it any more.
This is what I think they think. If he's the same person that is in Art of The Deal and spoke to Don Imus all the time, it sounds like him. The Donald Trump described above is what I see, not the stupid frat-boy bomb thrower and wannabe despot we're being handed by MSNBC. He's not Hitler, and he's not some college kid on spring break. I even think it's a good possibility that his biggest critics would love to be what they accuse him of being. It's how they see that; it's in their mirror. It's called psychological projection, in which they defend themselves against their own impulses and qualities by projecting it onto somebody else.
We've forgotten that we have a seat at the table. Election time comes, and they fight for our attention and pretend they're on our side and beg us to trust them. Then, they sit in our seat and do what their patrons tell them to do. And when we get upset about it, they have pundits go on television and the radio and tell us what they believe we want to hear. They produce slick little pics-with-captions that we can share on BaseFook, so that we can prove we're "well informed." And if you've ever shared anything by MoveOn.org or The Comical Conservative, you've been managed.
So when somebody like Donald Trump comes along, that looks like a loose cannon and might upset the apple cart, they pull out the big guns. They are going to do everything they can to slow him down and make him ineffective. They're trying to convince people that he's bad, because he might have helped some Russian operative reveal the truth about Hillary Clinton's staff.
And don't be mistaken, this is one of those moments when they reveal their contempt for the average person; the one who builds things and occupies homes and drives cars on the highways. Their contempt is front and center now, because with Trump, and Brexit, and a hundred little populist brushfires that have sprung up all over the world show that we are guilty of the unforgivable sin; that we wish to govern ourselves.
Oh, we can't have that. If the people of the world start governing themselves, where does that leave us? Quick, wind up the outrage factory!