President Trump and Other Meanderings

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I got to listen to President Trump's news conference today and I have never heard the man sound so tired. He kept saying that it had been a great first month. Kept blaming the democrats and the media for it not being greater. Talked about building a great wall. Not kidding. You couldn't make that up. And then he asserted that a poll has his approval rating at above 50%. Among investors, perhaps.


I actually have grown to like President Trump. I agree that we should be a nation of laws and that it's important to not allow people to not obey laws just because they don't like them. President Trump is waking this country up to the importance of an independent judiciary, to the problems caused by insularity, to the corruption in our system, to the need for a politically active citizenry, and that will require better schools, and better thinkers providing us with better ideas.


I'm growing to hate NPR. I hate to say this, but it is becoming the Jewish news. Not that they don't question the growth of Israeli settlements, the conservative agenda. It is the constant blitz of social relativism, that all religions should be treated equally, all orientations, an all-inclusive, anything goes, except any right-wing, conservative, social agenda. Regurgitated day-after-day is the Bill Gates Foundation motto, dedicated to the idea that all people are equally important. An absolutely preposterous lie, and one we should never accept. We are not all equal and that is not what our constitution says. It says that we are created equal, but at the moment of birth the inequality of our conditions becomes immediately apparent. That we should be creating a society where we give all people of all races, ethnicities, intelligences, social standing, a chance to excel and share in the American dream, does not mean we are all equally important. Our importance is not a natural gift. It is a result of the benefit of being born in the right place, the right time, a result of luck and hard work, perhaps being favored by the blessing of a omnipotent God. We can't know for sure why some people are more important than others, but the system we live in makes it clear that some are.


I hate asinine statements such as we're all equally important. And no, we're not all worthy of respect either. The part of you that I believe holds the spirit of God might be, but the part that allows you to abuse, swindle, and enslave your fellow humans is not. Sharia Law is an affront to any civilized person, not because of the cruel punishments it imposes of law breakers, but for its lack of fair treatment under the law, and its unwillingness to doubt the merit of its verdicts, believing they are God's will. Anyone who tells me they know what God's will is will be accused by me of vomiting God's swill. All we humans have to justify the legitimacy of our decisions is logic, not faith. And just because I believe in God, is no reason for me to allow myself to use that belief to justify how I've treated another human being or animal. My personal story is not something I would advise others to follow either. I would hope that they would choose a less torturous path, just as I would hope they wouldn't really want to follow Christ onto the cross just to prove a point.


NPR had an economist on today who said that Adam Smith's guiding hand guided people to make the best economic decisions, and no one challenged him. Adam Smith said that free-markets, the free movement of capital, where all contributors are guided by their own, best self-interest will create a society where resources would be used most efficiently. The guiding hand is a moral principle that asserts that free actors will also be compelled to behave in the best interest of their fellow man. An assertion that is still in some doubt.


Then a Catholic man was on who talked about his Irish heritage. He said he was Irish first, Catholic second, and American third. I questioned whether he had his priorities right. And it made me think of Jews I've met who say they are Jewish first, and Muslims who say they Muslims first.


This is why I like Trump no matter how flawed the man is personally. He asks us to be Americans first. I'm not sure he knows what it means exactly, but I like to think it means to put the values of our nation, the values that our founding fathers so eloquently stated, values of shared commitment and duty, ahead of the elitism of religion, party, race, gender, or ethnicity.


I get a laugh out of listening to Trump and his self-glorification, but as I'm laughing I also admire his unwavering belief in his abilities to improve the American way of life. It may not appear to be a logical argument at this point in his administration, but I wish him luck in his effort.


mark henry smith Added Feb 16, 2017 - 4:54pm
I also should have said, in regard to how we value people, to not let wealth be our guide either. Judge me by my works in this world, is all I ask you, and how I treated those spirits who came to me on bended knee.
George N Romey Added Feb 16, 2017 - 5:15pm
Mark,Trump is a very complicated individual. I think his biggest problem is that he wants to be in the spotlight no matter what.  He needs to buckle down and ignore the media whirlwind.  I have doubts whether he can. 
Also people like Bill Gates look through rose colored lenses.  They set up their charities, go to their $5,000 be seen dinners and want to think they make a huge difference.  The best thing you can do is give a man a decent job and the training to do that job well.  Microsoft fired 10,000 workers about a year ago to "enhance profitability".  Sure some probably landed back on their feet but many surely ended up in financial hell, possibly homeless, credit ruined, family destroyed.  If the company was suffering from slack profits did the CEO forgo any bonus and agree to work for a much lower sum? Nope.
Like you I am so tired of the fortunate pretending they know what the less fortunate need.  Raise the minimum wage, never.  Make sure all the long term unemployed (most of which are over 50 with a great education and skills) are put to work doing something constructive even if we have to raise taxes a bit on the most fortunate, no way. 
Our leaders are nothing more than carnival barkers.  They point out all the problems in our society than quickly retreat to their enclave of rich donors and powerful friends.  They wipe their brows thinking glad I'm not out there.
Eventually when the middle has been hallowed out so much and so many have died young maybe the entire system will implode with capacity greatly outstripping demand.  Maybe then stocks will fail and large companies will close or be forced to become much smaller. Maybe we start small and more simple again.  I don't know, I have my doubts on how much longer I will be alive.  Predator and vulture capitalism will have taken my life and the lives of millions like me.  Like my one article said about the movie Grapes of Wrath, its 1940 all over again.
Stone-Eater Added Feb 16, 2017 - 5:18pm
The part of you that I believe holds the spirit of God might be, but the part that allows you to abuse, swindle, and enslave your fellow humans is not.
Do you want to say that people who don't believe in god abuse, swindle and enslave ?
Otherwise I agree. 
I like Trump for the simple fact that I have the impression that he BELIEVES in what he says, no matter if self-proclaimed experts bash him as an ignorant or even a psycho.
I get the impression the bashers are the psychos. Why ? Ever talked to a psychiatrist and figured out in which reality he lives ?
Dino Manalis Added Feb 16, 2017 - 6:05pm
Trump should stop campaigning, he's the president, he's supposed to bring us together now with bipartisanship.
George N Romey Added Feb 16, 2017 - 8:00pm
Frankly other than Bill Clinton every President since Johnson has been about as lively as toilet paper.  They were all media tested and politically nuanced.  Trump is anything but.  He is a running PR show that wants 24/7 spotlight and believes the brasher the better.  That worked in days of TR, FDR and Truman because media was very limited and Truman was around in the very early days of television.  Also the media was actually sacred of the President.  Know way they would ever report that he and Eleanor hadn't bumped their butts in over 20 years and FDR despite being crippled (which was also not known) had something on the side.
William Stockton Added Feb 17, 2017 - 11:53am
Geez Mark.  We meet somewhere in the middle and agree.  I find that refreshing just as I found your words in this article.
mark henry smith Added Feb 17, 2017 - 1:36pm
Thank you all for contributing. And I'm kind of shocked that William would offer me any olive branches, but as I am always willing to do the same, I say thank you.
Let's all remember that there wasn't social relativism when the founding fathers were exploring the possibilities in forming a new order. The foundation was Christian principles even if the authors weren't all Christian. And the concept of personal freedom, not to be subject to rules and regulations without representation, even if it was system that would allow slavery, even if was a system that didn't recognize the political rights of women, even if it was a system that required land ownership for the right to vote, was at the heart of the endeavor. It is a system that is grounded in law, which is not a list of rules given to the righteous few by the mighty God, but a changeable guidepost meant to help the nation move in an orderly manner towards goals made imperative by the fickle hand of history.   
We are living in unprecedented times and yes, you can say that about any moment in human evolution, but so much has changed so quickly in the last score of years that it seems that all of the world is playing catch-up, and perhaps that is all we can do until some great cataclysm engulfs us and forces us to rethink what we've done to this planet and the lives that are nurtured by its resources. They are not our resources. We like to imagine they are ours to do as we will with, but in truth they belong to something greater.
The great thing about Trump, which we never would have gotten with Clinton, is that he has completely opened up the deep wounds that have been repeatedly band-aided, when they always needed stitching. This administration is a train wreck waiting to happen. I don't think the people he's got around him are terrible people, I just don't think Trump has any knowledge of what it takes to do the jobs he's hiring them for, just as he appears to have had no idea the difficult job he was being elected to.
And Stone, no. I don't believe anybody has to believe in an omnipotent God to be a good person, or that believing in an omnipotent alone makes someone a good person. People in both camps can be manipulated by unscrupulous self interest to assume the masks of monsters, while still convincing themselves that they have the hearts of angels.   
George N Romey Added Feb 17, 2017 - 1:44pm
Marko my guess is that Trump is winging this.  Now that in itself isn't necessarily bad because some people can operate that way very well. Time will soon tell if Trump can.  I also agree as you were very smart to point out this country needed a Trump.  We need to someone to be the bull in a china shop because for too long its been nothing but pc talk from our politicians while the country gets more and more pissed off.
You are also right in the fact that society is not keeping up with technology.  Automation and technology are reducing the need for human efforts yet we have no clue on how we are going to deal with human excess. If we simply just through human beings in the streets we are headed towards massive social unrest.
In the beginning of the 20th century we faced a similar situation with the rise of the industrial revolution.  TR at the time introduced the formal public education system from grades 1-12.  At the time most Americans could barely read or write.  Twelve years of formal education was unheard of at the time.  However TR knew that the US needed literate people if it was going to compete in the 20th century.  We have no such solution now.

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