Dialogue

Global Brand Stupidi Tea ~ Philip Brent

Global Brand Stupidi Tea ~ Philip Brent

I haven’t posted for a week, though I have material ready. I’ve started several pieces, but this is the first one I’ve completed in that same length of time. I’ve been troubled by a reply I believe was intended for me, in response to a satiric poem I wrote about Donald Trump. (I’ve included it below so you can judge for yourself.) I’m not upset that someone disagreed with what I’d written, but by what followed. As the person responding started his reply, my piece was designed to make people think. He then went on to ask, why my words were so divisive. Wondering how I could talk of tolerance and condemn hate and, simultaneously, plant roots the opposite of unity. Since I was only writing about Trump, I must assume this person considers Trump the only source of unity. Perhaps, he was speaking of joining the unity of a group targeting another group and blaming them for their problems. I’d hoped I was sowing seeds of thought and reasoned discourse. In this case, I don’t believe I succeeded.

This post went on to say how loud mouths scream injustice and blame the rich. I didn’t refer to the rich other than to say Trump’s wealth might indicate he’s nobody’s fool. “Tare down, build up,” he continues, “it doesn’t matter. People want leadership.” Obviously, at least to me, there’s a significant difference between tearing down and building up. Although it may not matter to the person who wrote this, I would prefer a leader who knows the difference. We jump from there to how people will become lame and atrophy without occupation, with the same being true for states, countries and continents. There is a certain truth to this in relation to people. Depressed, despondent and desperate might be a better description. Be that as it may, a certain onus falls upon us to choose how we respond to what’s happening to us. I think this poster would agree with me, but our choices would be diametrically opposed.

I suppose the next part could still be considered vaguely related to what I wrote, but the part following it appears to be a screed waiting to happen. First we’re told that the people of United States have been sold out and tendered by the liberal ideology that has been planted for decades. Since republican, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was elected president in 1953, the republicans have held the office 36 years to the democrats 25 years. During his term in office, Eisenhower, often cited as one of our ten best presidents, increased social welfare programs, worked to bring peace to the world, helped end the Korean War and sent troops to Little Rock, Arkansas to help integrate schools in accordance with the new law of our land. He helped to found SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organization) to fight the spread of communism, was opposed to illegal immigration, deporting 80,000, and was instrumental in the construction of the interstate highway system. By no means perfect for a modern liberal or conservative, this seems an intelligent balance.

Over the previous 34 years, since the start of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the republicans have held the office 24 years to the democrats 15 years. This makes me question where and when the decades of liberal ideology were planted. But then, he goes on to say “So it does not matter that what you think of Trump or why you can’t understand why he is winning. He wins because people are sick of being sold.” While it’s true that it doesn’t matter what I think of Trump, I know why he’s leading. He has tapped into the anger, fear and disenfranchisement of people disgusted with government for the rich and by the rich, though they blame it on the liberals who care more about helping the poor, civil rights and equality for all. These liberals are still wealthy, but appear to have a different agenda. In the end, they are all politicians and will say and do what they think will get them elected and keep them in power. This is the second half of Trump’s appeal. He says outrageous things about whomever he chooses, women, immigrants, Muslims and doesn’t care whether it could cost him votes. He has found the core belief of many people, who believe someone or some group is responsible for all their problems.

This poster states we have been sold to the Mullahs and Chinese. I’m not sure what the first one means, but I can guess at the second. I think this feeling is caused by two things. The first is the outsourcing of our jobs and industry, which is driven by greedy corporations rather than the government. Further, these corporation rob our government and the people of the United States through the use of off-shore talk shelters. The second cause of feeling we’ve been sold to China is the misperception of the amount of our debt China owns. Blind surveys have shown many conservatives and liberals believes China owns 50% of our debt. In fact, currently, it’s about 7%, down from about 10% in recent years. Most governments borrow money, often during times of war. For the record, the first time we borrowed from foreign powers was to the tune of 75 million dollars, to finance the Revolutionary War.

So, now, back to the post to which I’ve been attempting to respond. Next comes being stomped on by bureaucrats and lied to by politicians. This is difficult to argue with, but also difficult to see how something so obvious contributes to the discussion. Let’s move on to something more controversial: “We left a void in the middle east instead of finishing the job.” I find this statement both odious and terrifying. We invaded a sovereign nation based on false information and bombed the crap out of them, destroying their infrastructure and killing civilians in the thousands. In the guise of liberation, we occupied their country killing and being killed so that companies like Haliburton could profit. Saddam Hussein was a leader whose actions harmed his nation and his people, but he was the legitimate head of state. He was also someone we supported earlier in the war between Iran and Iraq. With whatever reasons anyone may offer to justify our invasion and the flack I will no doubt take, I see little difference between this and when Germany invaded Poland. We did it because we chose to and because we could. If finishing the job means permanent occupation or genocide based on religion or ethnicity, I am horrified. This is abhorrent and against the principles our nation professes to believe.

We go on to an oblique reference to Hillary Clinton and her private email server. Her use of it was legal and the State Department was aware of it. Though it was an ill-considered choice, so far, no classified data has been found. Yet, we are told she arrogantly lied about it and wiped it away with a rag. I’m surprised it wasn’t that she wiped it away with the flag, a flag we fail to respect and walk on instead. We learn how President Obama has accomplished little, despite having fulfilled President George W. Bush’s promise to kill Osama bin Laden, turning the economic mess he inherited into modest gains for our economy and successfully withdrawing most of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. (I’m sure my poster would consider these last accomplishments as failures.) This, and the Affordable Care Act, which many and this person considers anything but, all while battling a republican house most of his time in office. I offer this not as an excuse, merely an observation. No president starts their term in office without inheriting some of his (so far) predecessor’s successes and most of his problems. Nor do they come into office with the power to simply decide what is going to happen and then make it so.

When I read that the “biggest tragedy has been the sale of nuclear technology to an enemy that wants us dead as they wait for their Mahdi” {the Muslim Savior} “but that’s what happens when you lie and say it is for peace” I can only shake my head. This sounds to me like a religious version of the old trope at the height of cold war: the only good red is a dead red. It smacks of prejudice and fear of the other. It’s my country right or wrong. Since he continues that he could go on and on with the un-American agenda that has been placed on us for the last several years I can only conclude my suppositions are close to the mark.

I think what puzzled me most was how little this had to do with what I had actually written. I realize we don’t all think the same way, which is usually a good thing. However, in this instance I felt as if I was listening to a sermon or some sort of canned speech. Because either of us believe what we believe does not make it true. We are allowed to disagree, to have our own opinions, but not our own facts. I don’t believe either of us will change the other’s mind, but we each had our say. I doubt if I will pursue this further, but hopefully, it made us both think.

 

Here’s the original verse.

Sad to Report

Like the narcissistic needs of a reborn Christian’s god
Donald Trump requires constant praise and adoration
It doesn’t even matter if he earns the presidential nod
He’ll say, do and promise anything for your adulation

It seems there is nothing too incendiary or outrageous
My friend says it is simply in the cause of politainment
His fans lap up everything he says; it’s check plus, plus
If he’s in the spotlight, no foolishness he won’t foment

We are led by stupid people, he’s said more than once
Though it takes one to know one, or so it seems to me
Does that somehow make him the definition of dunce
So much money, you think, how big a fool could he be

We’ve been taught to think wealth the mark of success
He wants to lead us; I think he’s succumbed to his ego
His public diatribes are loud, strident and full of excess
His base built on fear, hate and bile; how far will he go

He contributes to all, caches his power in secret places
For racism, misogyny, to jack boots at razor-wire fences
His target any groups, gender, names, the color of faces
If he succeeds, he will throw away any and all pretenses

Think me a fool for my view; I fear it can’t be changed
I can’t brook anyone who uses fear, hate to get support
If their vitriol is sincere, it makes them quite deranged
Now, most all are calculated or crazy, I’m sad to report

 

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