There’s Something Wrong Here

Pardon me. I'm emotional. I just watched a grieving father in Pittsburgh try to process the murder of his son in the synagogue. In addition, the mayor of Pittsburgh, in a pre-dawn interview on NBC, wondered aloud if it's really the proper policy (and need) for the U.S. to recommend armed guards at all Christian, Jewish, and Muslim places of worship as well as all elementary, middle, and high schools? Really? Is this the country where people act out their hatreds and mixed-up beliefs of "us versus them" based on "they" need to be eliminated?

I grew up in three small towns in the Appalachian South. I totally understand the tradition of hunting and proper respect for guns. I don't understand the completely, fully, total, and uncompromising attitude of the NRA and many that any move toward controls and checks on firearms is only the first step on total prohibition of firearms and thus must be thwarted.

After all, the Second Amendment itself includes the words "well regulated." To me, that means with judgement and wisdom.

We have a President whose majority political party is fully under his powerful influence and virtual control now. This is the result of his mesmerizing personality and speaking manner. Unfortunately he belittles opponents and uses inflammatory rhetoric ("lock her up") and comments such as "I'll personally pay for lawyers for anyone who beats up protesters like that" (or words to that effect). Mr. Trump has a true genius for sensing frustration and channeling his words to reach people. At seventy years of age, he is an amazingly hard working man who seems to have no limit to his ability to fly places and hold rallies. He is a flashy and impressive dresser, with a beautiful and elegantly dressed wife, who exudes wealth and fame, and is a brilliant populist politician, the likes of which we have not seen since Huey Long. Mr Trump rose from the least likely candidate for the  Presidency in 2016 to virtually destroy (I use that word carefully in the sense that he emasculated and belittled them) the other seventeen Republican candidates, using biting and effective puerile nicknames for people he felt were strong enough to challenge him. To underestimate Mr. Trump is to be naive.

It's too early to know what will follow, domestically or internationally, but the President plays a game of bold moves and uses language so loosely that, to be completely honest and correct, well over half of anything he says is factually incorrect. I could use the word "lie" here but that would underestimate his effectiveness. He will change on a dime, and praise someone whom he dissed in the most brutal manner only a day or week previously. It's all part of the process of "the game, or the deal," as he says. In my opinion, he's a charlatan, a very talented channel for deep frustrations based on the fact that technical developments are displacing many workers, and leading to severe financial pressures on wide groups of Americans. In addition, on a broader scope, the rising economic and military power of other nations are foreshadowing the end of unlimited Post-WW2 American hegemony and power. This is hard to understand and to accept for this country. Mr. Trump promises to correct all this ... to "fix it."

The country pivots on a day-to-day sensational, breathless news cycle. We have no "press conferences" on a formal and structured basis any longer. The President now is his own best spokesman, going directly to the people, his people. As long as the voters approve him, and let's be honest, it's really about him now as the Republican leaders in the Congress won't cross him as long as they get the national judges and laws they want. And, if the voters keep them and him in control.

We shall see. We shall see.


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Reunion is available in stock at Tamarack on the West Virginia Turnpike as well as at and other Internet locations. It’s under consideration for a movie.

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