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In All Seriousness, Redux

One last gasp

I recycle.I am reusing this Facebook post not because I think it is profound. Not because I believe it will change anything or anyone. I am putting it here because it is as close as I think I will ever come to explaining the intentions behind my occasional reactions to others’ political posts there. It is related to my previous post, but is focused more specifically on politics. In it I offer an apology of sorts, an olive branch to those on the other side of the aisle (so to speak), and make my feelings about the current administration crystal clear. At least these are my intentions.

This post was originally written to an individual as part of a longer thread. Parts of it read oddly here, but I am choosing to not rewrite it. I have edited it a bit for clarity, and I have replaced ugly Facebook-style emphases with bolded text or italics where appropriate.

Thanks F****! No need to overestimate my intelligence though. I just muddle along, hoping to get more right than wrong. Glibness and a penchant for writing bloated prose is no guarantee of intelligence, let alone wisdom. This “penchant,” by the way, has accelerated as my speaking ability has left me.

I have no desire to lose any more lifelong friends (as I have one, a mutual friend, I’m afraid). We differ on some opinions, but I know we both love our country. I’m a lot more liberal than I was (or knew I was) all those years ago. Perhaps if I hadn’t left California 25 years ago I wouldn’t be quite so liberal, but I was drifting left anyway. We both have grown up considerably. You are a good man! If I didn’t already know it, the sincere love your daughters express publicly for you here would convince me of it.

I have developed something of an uncontrollable compulsion to point out false information when I see it here. I do attempt to check myself and to make sure I’m on firm footing when I do. If I’m almost certain of a claim’s falsehood, I do not call it out until I can verify it (with as much certainty as is ever possible; 100% certainty about anything is rare). Occasionally I learn that I was wrong, and am better off for having learned the truth — even and especially when it goes against what I thought and may have wanted to be true. I hope that makes sense. To be absolutely clear before I plunge into more turbulent water: I’m referring above to outright falsehoods, NOT opinions, no matter how strongly I may disagree with them.

What follows are my opinions. The distortions of truth we see so much of today — not exclusively about politics — is, I believe, a very dangerous thing. And I believe that the president is taking this trend to whole new level. He didn’t start it, but it’s his strength (if it can be called a strength). And, I believe, this is a very dangerous time for our country and that Trump is a special case. I strongly opposed Romney in 2012, and I regret the hyperbole of some of what I expressed in this public forum. My opposition to him was based on his policies and, probably more so, on my fundamental disagreements with the platform of his party. These are things that all informed, well-intentioned citizens should be able to discuss and debate respectfully. I regret not having always done so.

(An aside about 2012: To be honest, I did dislike and distrust Romney himself. One thing in particular that I found objectionable was his use of Cayman Islands bank accounts. I believe that it is clear that only reason to maintain such accounts is to illegally shelter money from taxation. This is a tax dodge only available to the filthy rich, and is something I believe should offend every hard-working American. A disqualifier in my opinion. How quaint this “feeling” of mine seems now!)

My opinion of our current president includes the notion that he is a fraud and a con man, a pathological liar, compromised by Putin and the Russian oligarchs that have used Trump’s real estate holdings to launder money for at least 20 years, compromised by money from European banks and possibly foreign governments (Saudi Arabia?) since American banks stopped lending to him after his multiple bankruptcies in the 1990s. I could go on, and I haven’t even touched on what I believe are his hateful personal views, morals, etc. I believe, in fact, that he is mentally ill. There is strong evidence for all of these extraordinary beliefs of mine. This evidence is available, and you or anyone else could make it a full-time job to find and read through it. I don’t expect anyone to do that. The sheer volume of it is a barrier that protects him.

What I can encourage you to do is to try to evaluate, to the best of your ability and within the limits of your endurance, what his policies are really doing, who they are really benefiting, how his rhetoric actually effects people. You don’t have to agree with much or any of what I do about the man, but are you sure that he and his enablers put America first? Or are they using that claim as a ruse to advance their own interests at your (our) expense? I’m not saying that I expect you to become a liberal Democrat. I do expect you to put your country and the Constitution above any politician or party. You are too good a man to not do so. I will pledge to do the same.

I hope this post will be the last of its kind for awhile. Impolitical, I mean. I intend to write more of the fun stuff, like my recent love letter to a friend, that I enjoy. Also, I hope to do less of the goofing that I enjoy a little too much, and more of the personally-reflective storytelling that is more challenging to me.

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