Category Archives: Social/Political Commentary

Sean Spicer Normalized, His Lies, Contempt for Free Press Condoned at Emmy Awards

f♣ 9-18-2017∼Last night, fresh from a stint as the unrelenting, bowl-faced and demonstrable liar who dragged the American free press through the mire, Sean Spicer managed a cameo spot at the annual Emmy Awards. The ex-press secretary, with a not unflattering spoof of himself, reprised his role as Vice Liar-in-Chief to Donald Trump there.

A cute trick, even Spicer lapped it up, though many were not amused and found in bad taste the attempt to quickly normalize the disingenuous Trump stooge on the questionable if quite obliging platform of an acting awards program. The odd bit opened with a piquant send up of Sean Spicer’s first lie in office, a bold deceit, the secretary’s flagrant attempt to palm off on the public that conspicuously smaller crowd at Trump’s inauguration as the biggest inauguration turnout ever. Clearly Sean never caught wind of that quaint if pithily relevant little modern-day invention called the camera.

Many watching the Emmies have been scandalized to see a man lately chosen poster boy for national disgrace so casually celebrated, reduced to a mere political hack, his misdeeds diminished on national TV but I for one say, why not? After all, one more henchman shrunk to lies and deceit in the wake of blind ambition, just a cad who in a fit of ignorance once anointed Nazi concentration camps holocaust centers, Sean Spicer, much like George Goebbels, stayed true to the cause and in the image of Adolf Eichmann “vass only follovink orderss.”

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Trump’s Tweets a Chronicle of Decadence, Indecency

♣ 7-2-17 ∼ Monday morning Trump advisor Kelly Anne Conway said the media wastes time on the president’s tweets, time that might be better spent covering “finer policy points.” On Fox & Friends Conway claimed to have tested some one hundred sixty three tweets by Donald Trump back in June. She further said “Three-quarters of them, at least, had to do with policy, bilateral meetings, legislation.” Like much Conway espouses however, her gripe and so-called tweet test were spun and served only to cloud the issue.

Ultimately, she’s wrong to rate superfluous any media response to Trump’s largely outlandish tweets. Constant coverage of Donald Trump’s tweets is all-important since the encapsulations, often improvisational rants and riffs, engender Trump’s bizarre behavior and personality. They’re an intricate map of his personal knowledge, values and priorities, his loyalties and proclivities, his strengths and limitations, his political prowess and so-called tactical maneuvering, even the drastic bleed of his credibility worldwide.

They’re a blueprint of his state of mind, emotions and character, a mosaic of his psychological makeup, his neurological state, sensibility and temperament. The streaming, near-compulsive tweets of our newly elected leader, their iterative inaccuracy, rancor and vulgarity, their ongoing pettiness, cruelty and intolerance can only play a major role in any assimilation of Trump. They’re a source of news vital to public perception and appraisal of our brand new commander-in-chief, news key to public assessment of the people in orbit around him.

Is reportage of the Trump tweets indeed a waste of time? If there’s waste at all it’s Donald Trump’s alone. The disturbingly frequent, shameful, petty, puerile, crude, vicious, demeaning, toxic, slanderous, disproportionate, inaccurate, inappropriate, destructive, disruptive, counter-productive, self-revealing, self-discrediting, self-indicting, self-sabotaging and generally destabilizing nature of the world leader’s Twitter log begs for consumate scrutiny from the press, the Fourth Estate, main advocate for the public which brings to light skewed, corrupt, dangerous and incompetent leadership. The Trump tweets have proven indispensable to White House reporting as we’ve lapsed into the Donald Trump era.

As sundry as the tweets are, many shame the president, shame the office of the president and the United States at large. This they do here at home and across the globe. Donald Trump’s tweets tend to underscore his bad judgement, preening vanity, impropriety and misplaced priorities. Many tend to lay bare Donald Trump’s crudity, injustice, dishonesty and mean-spiritedness, traits beneath the great dignity and decorum of the presidency. Many more are simply  indecent.

Frequently the tweets engender id-driven lashings out, gut responses, knee jerk reactions to perceived slights, makeshift diversions, thin, last-minute smoke screens, distractions from negative attention well-earned. They’re often made without self-control or circumspection like the tantrums of a child, not the measured declarations of an adult, much less of a president.

The same tweets now comprise bona fide records. They’re official files, megabytes, maybe even gigabytes of damning information in a presidential archive which ought to bode shameful for Trump and yet weirdly, suspiciously, conspicuously, Trump doesn’t get it. He carries on tweeting in his crude and reckless way, in the same crass, vicious and slanderous tradition.

How can Trump fail to understand common decency? It’s this and other very pressing questions about our leader which a vigilant and systematic study of his mounting tweets will surely help answer one day if not tantamount to criminal prosecution, mental or medical diagnosis, then maybe as a smoking gun, damning evidence, probable cause, reason enough for inquiry into the man’s professional dealings, his mindset, his capacities, his acumen for sane, legal, fair and effective governance on a national scale.

Maybe, as many suspect, Trump’s a sick man. Maybe not. Maybe the man’s colluded with Russia. Maybe not. Maybe Trump’s corrupt. Maybe he’ s just incompetent. Maybe our new head-of-state can govern effectively. Maybe not.

Whatever the case, all these grave concerns remain in play and there are those who feel, as I do, that a leader’s moral fiber, his voracity, his grace, his nobility, his reverence for democracy and all the American people, his love for both objective and universal truth, his grasp of mainstream media’s search for the best obtainable truth, remain fundamental to good and viable leadership.

There are those who hold, as I do, what turpitude exudes from Trump and leaches into a lot of the president’s tweets is enough to disqualify the head of state from any public office. These Twitter bytes, many seeds of untold decadence, whisper volumes and alone inform the utmost importance in the news today of Trump’s many indecent tweets.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

A Sudden Distopian Nightmare

  • trump-35

♣ 11-9-16, The Day After Election Day

Donald Trump is president-elect of the United States of America. A temperamental man with obvious narcissistic tendencies and irrepressible egocentric urges, he has no visible moral code, no apparent standard of ethics, no discernable principles in his little bag of tricks. Trump has nothing even vaguely like a political philosophy. Indeed he shows little character, little grace, little compassion, little restraint, little grasp of the seat to which he accedes.

Donald Trump’s a wild card. He’s totally unpredictable, just as prone to evil as good, just as liable to harm as help, just as likely to do damage as to make reparation. It’s said Trump’s a bull who packs his own china shop given his uncanny knack for self-sabotage. He’s his own worst enemy. I worry, is he ours?

On that score, it seems about fifty percent of the US voting public yesterday threw all caution to the wind, abandoned principle, thwarted precious American values and frightfully, impetuously, undermined the dignity and integrity of our nation, a dignity and integrity which, not unlike freedom put wrong, we’ll be hard-pressed to put right again. Votes for Trump only served to undermine the dignity and integrity of the USA, this erstwhile magnificent, luminous, awe-inspiring  beacon of freedom and justice and for what–yet another empty vow of sweeping political change.

Donald Trump has shown the world exactly who he is in his actions of the past year-and-a-half. The American working middle class has nonetheless brought to highest office a demonstrably brash man of languishing integrity, a low-life, a cheap cad of excruciatingly weak moral fiber.

They’ve compromised the White House with a boldfaced slanderer, philanderer, a panderer to racists and bigots, to misogynists and xenophobes, the shameless author of provable lies, tall tales and mud-slinging rhetoric.

They’ve designated undisputed leader of the free world a great preening narcissist, a raging western chauvinist, an inveterate snob, bloating braggart, arch authoritarian, dogma-drooling demagogue, divisive rabble-rouser, a devout fear-monger, hater elite, that cruel, contemptuous advocate for the deeply personal, supra-professional savaging of friend, enemy, rival and detractor alike, fierce predator, the great white breast-thumping hunter of the ever ubiquitous doe-eyed scapegoat.

Tell me: Where is honor? Where is reason? Where is insight? Where is simple, honest, everyday common sense? What on earth has happened to America’s bygone reverence for righteousness and truth, its long-gone respect for the noble and dignified? What’s become of our erstwhile heart, our traditional good will, our once quite natural inclination toward the welcome of strangers, that good old-fashioned yankee hospitality that once worked hard to forge America’s legend? Perhaps it perished in the early twentieth century neath the tonnage  of pre-conceived notions, rife suspicions and rabid resentments of the great immigration. Where is national pride,  whence the great collective consciousness and sharper understanding of what America stands for?

Is it possible I’m dreaming and we’ve always been a cold, course, self-serving culture, never warm, never caring, never giving, never refined, never virtuous, never gracious nor ever idealistic. I only know I can’t shake the nauseating sense that having put Trump in office, some half of US voters might well have made a deal with the devil. If they have I only hope against hope there isn’t hell to pay.

I can’t quell a vomit-provoking vibe that some fifty percent of the US voting public have relinquished all commitment to the sacred, founding, time-honored principles of democracy, human rights, social justice and freedom, the inviolable formula for a glue that’s bound Americans together over two glorious centuries and in trade for this hollow pledge of less elitist government from a disingenuous man as elitist as they come.

No, I can’t help feeling this obscure cross-section has sacrificed our great American heritage to an echo of cacophony rising from an empty little shell strewn idle on the beach. Such grave compromise comes at staggering cost.

It’s disconcerting too that in the shadow of the vitriolic Trump campaign, a cheap sham prancing and courting the worst in human instinct, those many votes for Trump belied votes in favor of racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia and cruelty. Those many votes for Trump concealed votes in favor of enmity, bullying, incivility and violence which today imbue hate crimes, sexual assault on women, fits of grave instability and random chaos, grievous wrong  seldom blooming under viable leadership .

Minority groups nationwide awoke with dread today to harsh rekindlings of ire, resentment, condescension and bias, uncertainty and hostility, trepidation and much renewed loathing of fresh negative scrutiny, injustice and attack both verbal and physical in the land where all are guaranteed welcome and safety, acceptance and peace of mind, where all are underwritten life, liberty, happiness and equality, a land in which minorities were well upon the road to grasping miniscule fragments of this yet elusive covenant when Donald Trump so rudely interrupted. Does Donald Trump grasp any of this?

What a sad pass this is. What a fall from grace to play upon the world stage, an untoward testament to our imminent decline, sorry tribute to the breakdown of a noble civilization, grim accounting which alone those yet high-minded of the American voting public can acknowledge and appreciate.

What’s done is done. We have a new president. We can only move to bond behind our newly elected leader and with all due diligence as a free, just and pluralistic culture simply back him when he’s right, just buck him when he’s wrong and where necessary hold the man accountable in the fond hope that some small vestige of fine American values may survive the next four to eight years. Meanwhile, fasten your seatbelts kids. We’re in for a bumpy ride.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Blaming the Victims: Trump Detractors Dissed Defending Honor, Freedom, Human Rights and Social Justice Currently Under Siege

anti-trump-protests-group-2-2

♣ Spoiled sports? Sore losers? Crybabies? These are the kinds of cheap shots Trump supporters are taking lately at American voters who rue the election of Donald J. Trump, hordes of voters filling city streets nationwide and giving voice to their grave concern, dissent and solidarity.

Regular flack ranges in order of magnitude from shallow and inaccurate to false and misleading while every blast is lame, imprecise and misdirected of course. It’s the aim of Trump supporters, after all, to peg as mostly hypersensitive, unruly, ungracious and infantile the victims of Donald Trump and their dissent against his outright abuse, victims pegged by Trump before the world as indefensibly different, suspect, ominous, vile, inferior, undesirable, in effect somewhat less than human.

Trump’s abuse, harsh, constant, un-American, sets the kind of sad and dangerous precedent which begs public rebuke and renunciation from a free and diverse society. Whenever rebuke and renunciation do emerge, much in the name of honor, ethics, freedom and social justice, however, large groups of Trump-supporting name-callers emerge as well to belittle it.

There are many reasons name-callers cast their cheap aspersions on recipients of Donald Trump’s abuse. Of course they’re desperate to obscure beneath a vast barrage of false accusations those who call maltreatment what it is. Of the much shallower Trump-supporting name-callers, many view anti-Trump sentiment as tonic for the crestfallen, pap for those defeated when in fact it’s utter lifeblood for untold numbers of Americans who’ve sustained a heavy blow from this president.

Primarily, though, Trumpite name-callers hope to make small an issue undeniably huge. They hope to make miniscule the elephant in the parlor, to dismiss as insignificant and petty the preponderance of Donald Trump victims and their outraged advocates amassed on US streets yelling foul.

They stage their cheap derisions little guessing those who seek to label others only act out the hallmark of dysfunction and eventually they do what all dysfunctionals do. They blame the victim, in this case projecting on Donald Trump’s victims and their backers all blame for that abuse which in fact Trump himself has heaped on them.

By this devise name-callers can mitigate blame in the real culprit, collectively Donald Trump and the name-callers themselves, unaware of how transparent and rife with dysfunction their flimsy theatrics look to the more astute.

What gall not to take their abuse and like it, these too-dismissive name-callers seem to fault victims–like dissing minority groups as Trump has done is democratic while democratic activism against it is not.

Trump voters swear their candidate won democratically. They inform us that in this way democracy has been served and therefore Clintonite dissenters ought to shut up and deal with it.

Dissenting Clinton voters make a finer distinction however. Since an unjust man won by democratic vote, they say, democracy has been served and yet justice has not. They make a good point. At that, they make the whole point.

Anti-Trump sentiment in the American streets has nothing to do with winning and losing per say but rather with what manner of man has won and what that manner of man’s having won will mean for countless Americans targeted by Trump throughout the unrivaled travesty which marked his presidential campaign, what it will mean for all Americans as a treacherous blow to democracy, freedom and social justice.

It’s about social justice and Trump is front and center in the brouhaha, Trump who was really elected democratically in the technical sense but only after he stomped on social justice with the alacrity of a small boy breezing through a penny candy store with a shiny silver dollar clasped hotly in his hand.

Now he says the only thing that matters is that he won. How can Trump be so out of touch with the people, so oblivious to the irony of a win at their expense, so bereft of personal principles as to proudly place winning above fair play and social responsibility?

Is Donald Trump a man without discernment or a man without honor? To be sure he’s a man of rather questionable integrity with a long-languishing sense of human respect, no small considerations for the up and coming leader of perhaps the world’s freest, most pluralistic society.

This dirth of human respect shows a gross lack of principles. Where principles prove few and inconsistant the core values and priorities of a government and the society under its jurisdiction soon grow dangerously skewed. A cavalier stance grips the nation over time. In awhile patterns of living become erratic and soon Intolerance, incivility and violence rise and flourish.

In the absence of principles there can be no truth, no order,  neither anchor nor sound frame of reference for the norms, mores, values and priorities of a people, no dependable criteria for human interaction nor reliable paradigm for human behavior.

The powerful seize control and do whatever serves themselves while the weak regress into self-absorption and mayhem. Time will tell us more on how this cavalier posture plays out in Trump’s imminent first term as chief executive.

It beggars belief that after such brash and stunningly un-American antics by a would-be statesman, such inconceivably raw, rabid, racial, ethnic, religious and sexual slurs as Donald Trump slung in his scourge of a presidential bid, there still exist Trump supporters who take his hapless victims and their natural, dutiful, infinitely democratic protestations lightly, who trivialize their sense of denigration and betrayal then mock their plight in general with Trumped-up charges of “spoiled sport,” “sore loser” and “crybaby,” charges little children might bring against other little children who are losing ungraciously at hopscotch.

How, after the brutal, more than year long, bigotry-charged and very public tongue lashing Americans underwent from Trump, could hecklers even dream any pigeonholed person, any demonized minority is anything but legitimately concerned for their welfare these days?

Are they blind or do they grasp indeed the flagrant stigmatization of a few with all of its deep, profoundly darksome implications, grasp its toll and opt anyway to lie, spin, distort, propagandize and diminish their fellow Americans for a vague political notion, some prescribed, heady, nationalistic whim, some distorted, self-aggrandizing myth about their own unerring superiority?

Do they understand it’s not social diversity alone but American honor, freedom, human rights and social justice, core American values and principles, the integrity of the Constitution itself that are currently under siege by Donald Trump and the extreme right elements he panders to?

Trump likely slandered those he did just to foment stronger passion and support for his political platform. He was that resolved to win at any cost.

It’s disturbing, however, to think that after all was said and done, Trump may never have taken the process, taken its negative implications or its many wretched victims very seriously, to think that in the final analysis all were mere conveniences for the candidate whose campaign was just a giant manipulation anyway.

Monumental damage has been done these many victims and America at large in the process. Some of it might be years undoing,  some beyond repair.

Whether bigoted in itself or collaborative with bigotry, this dark dynamic stands as part of a tacit subjugation process spawned by Donald Trump and now furthered by an effete corps of denigrating Trumpite name-callers.

Victims of this tacit subjugation woke November 8th to find themselves frazzled and confused, dismayed about their places in this erstwhile Promised Land so many helped to build.

They’re tentative now, indignant, apprehensive about their freedom, safety, security and prospective treatment, as many not directly stung by the process are prone to be apprehensive about the freedom, safety, security and prospective treatment of loved ones, friends, neighbors and simple fellow Americans.

They’re concerned about the future. They’re fretful about the uncharted path our country’s chosen in making Trump its forty fifth president.

Those hit squarely by the Trump dehumanization tack, its stark implications and many gritty realities in the form of violent hate crimes and racist acts, some in fact credited right to Donald Trump himself, comprise anything but disgruntled fans left supping on sour grapes.

These are the disinherited, forced to feed on poison berries, many faced with possible life-threatening situations. All feel the long-sought, hard-gotten quality of their lives reduced dramatically with the advent of Trump given the swath this man has recarved for social injustice, incivility and racial strife, a swath shaven clean beneath the double-edged scythe of bigoted rhetoric and supplication to bigots everywhere.

Hillary Clinton voters, sore losers? Well, losers, yes. Democratic minorities lost big. They lost more than just an election this time. Sore? Yeah, like anyone finally making strides and beaten down for the umpteenth time feels pretty damned sore right now, like anyone seeing the faint glimmer of unity or feeling the vague bristle of pride and suddenly faced with railing and rampant Trumpism, confronted with fresh divisiveness and dehumanization feels pretty sore right now.

Spoiled sports? Okay, sports maybe. The spoiled are accustomed to winning however. Few constant winners here I’m afraid.

Crybabies? How so? Infants don’t struggle, don’t overcome. Fledglings don’t weep for lost ground. Only the cognizant, the caring, the compassionate, the consummately mature shed a tear for lost freedom, flagging justice and inhumanity which torment the soul, shame the race, shame through empathy both victor and victim indiscriminately.

The stigmatization of those in dread of Donald Trump as none but querulous spoiled sports, sore losers and crybabies, piqued fans grieving over the loss of a sporting event is short-sighted to the point of absurdity. It’s cruel to the point of atrocity.

It trivializes vital issues and those effected by them. It doesn’t nearly characterize the many feeling justifiably threatened by a newly elected leader who has daily both directed and drawn fierce hostility toward them, fierce hostility toward their groups and toward their counterparts nationwide.

Instead of pondering just how bias came to roost with such impunity, acquiescence and instigation from top leaders here in this, of all places, the good ole USA, many Trump voters have closed their minds and reduced themselves to name-calling, minimizing a critical situation, some blind to the finer details of that situation, others hip to them all but too insensitive or biased themselves to address them.

anti-trump-protests-group-2-4

On the one hand, demeaning epithets bantied about in this puerile bit of name-calling gravitate toward  sanctimonious dreck.

They’re drivel spewed about anti-Trump activists by a narrow, petty, vapid, heartless, largely dismissive clique of Trumpite drones loath to learn or understand what’s really at stake in the recent election for minority groups and others embroiled in passionate protest across the United States.

On the other hand, the designations made include tags affixed to activists by sharply astute, equally narrow, unfeeling but especially coy, politically driven spin-doctors, cold, practiced liars obscuring the truth by distorting the truth and finally assaulting the most basic if intricate truth running so much deeper than wounded pride or scorched ego chasing plain competitive loss, truth that lies at the heart of minority cultures, supports their safety and serenity, downright proves their rightful places in society, truth that forms the core of sacred American principles, values, rule of law, truth that embodies the very soul of our democracy.

While truth presents the one and only, steadfast, universal currency for human interaction, this diehard band of philosophical twerps continue to souse themselves in informational counterfeiting, communicational sobotage that conflates truth and impedes the advancement of all mankind. Still, incredibly, they find it a source of personal aggrandizement and pride.

anti-trump-protests-group-2-11

In one of US history’s rarest instances, a presidential candidate acted publicly in a manner unbefitting a US president. He presumed to court brazenly and unencumbered the primal forces of racism, white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Then, winning as much because of it as in spite of the dalliance, Donald Trump acceded to the nation’s highest office.

Trump’s ostensible lies, vicious attacks on American citizens, shameless appeal to alt-rightists, bigots, misogynists and xenophobes were firmly endorsed by more than half the voting population. What were Trump voters thinking anyway? How could they not have gleaned that such a man was bad for America?

Donald Trump’s endorsement then doubled back to embolden, even mobilize the same hate factions against their traditional target groups with heightened enthusiasm, new justification and a sense of tacit, unbound executive permission, this crushing minority citizenship’s long-sought, hard-forged shield against aggression and rendering these target groups, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women, gays and many others much weakened, more vulnerable than before, reducing them once again to the level of social pariahs, essentially bulldozing them physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually into degrading US policy-imposed exile in the confines of their own reputedly indivisible country, exile degrading as much for the country as the victims themselves.

Does this warped dynamic not run contradictory to human rights provisions? Does it not dishonor America, all Americans and the American presidency? Do we not value honor in America any more?

anti-tyrump-protests-group-2-6

With election of someone who calculatingly romanced the bigoted underbelly of this nevertheless great country, a man who held minority groups up incessantly to rancor and public ridicule, millions across America feel aghast, disenfranchised, vulnerable, at serious risk, filled with understandable dread, doubt, disbelief, fear for their well-being, some for their very lives, those of loved ones, friends and fellow Americans.

Indeed, since Donald Trump’s election once inhibited racist acts and hate crimes have risen markedly, some in the name of Trump himself whom haters say inspired them.

So it is that many thousands in cities nationwide have spontaneously, without guide of leadership or organization, commandeered the city streets charged with fear, anxiety, incredulity and desperate hope as if adrift in some dystopian nightmare, fallen prey to some apocalyptic vision come to pass which, to pique their dread, some fifty percent of voters either cannot or will not concede much less comprehend, though certain of them see clearly, understand and celebrate anyway.

Spoiled sports? Sore losers? Crybabies? Americans under siege by their own is more like it.

anti-trump-protests-group-2-10anti-trump-protests-group-2-15

 

 

 

 

 

anti-trumpprotests-group-2-14                         anti-trump-protests-group-2-7

 

anti-trump-protests-group-2-13

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

The Crisis of Integrity That Surrounds Donald Trump

♣ The Nominee is the party and the party the nominee. It can be no other way in a democracy. Donald Trump showed his colors early on. Nevertheless, staunch republicans failed to oust their candidate while they had the chance. It’s clear they wanted a winner first and foremost. They wanted a winner so badly in fact that they backed a man who in retrospect many consider a boar and a bigot, a loose canon, a renegade, a disruptive intruder at odds with their party’s designated values. Deeply into the circus tour that comprised the Trump campaign, signs that Donald Trump was a man of poor character seemed of little concern to the GOP. From Jump Street the authoritarian ring master flaunted brash contempt on the sleeve of his coat like a neon swasticka armband with scarce a murmur of righteous indignation from Republicans.

Trump mocks a handicapped journalist.

Now it’s official. Donald Trump is the GOP nominee. Too late. The people have spoken. Indeed the Republican party has spoken. Suddenly staunch Republicans want to distance themselves from Trump, a difficult task as now they drink from the same tainted well as he. Even now,  genie hovering sprightly over his bottle, it’s not so much Donald Trump’s poor character that’s in question as his misalignment with standard Republican values. Wow, what a sad and sobering testament to those values. Despite his brazen slander, racist rhetoric and maledictory speech, his blatant lies, childish antics, organizational nonconformity and of course the waking cries from all his outraged detractors, Trump continues to run a pretty close race. Whatever the end, republicans can’t win for the losing. For the GOP, win is lose and lose win. Whatever the end, the end is nigh for the GOP, this owing as much to lost integrity in the ranks as to the anarchistic turns of their perfidious rogue agent Donald Trump. The nominee is the party and the party the nominee. It can be no other way in a democracy.

trump-group-of-insultsYes, Republicans drink from the same tainted well today. To the unprincipled, truth, right and precedent are elusive ideas which inspire little conviction. For those who lack conviction all of life is serious quandary. Those Republicans in a quandary over Trump are simply lost as to whether to serve the party or serve their errant candidate. They’re lost as to whether to serve victory or serve the public good? Of course, the standard way to freshen a well is to disinfect the water. As long as contaminate Trump continues to dip his ladel into the party well, cleansing the dirty font remains moot however. A pure well from which all Republicans might drink these days cannot endure for one integral reason, due to one salient fact, according to one ineluctable truth. The nominee is the party and the party the nominee. It can be no other way in a democracy.

trump-35

Those chosen to moderate the Republican primary debates allotted Donald Trump too much space to misbehave, space that soon unleashed a bully and his tactics, crucial stomping ground that clinched the nomination for Trump in the end. In addition, many staunch Republicans waited too long to grow a conscience. Many another party hack never did. More, many staunch Republicans waited too long for Trump to get in line. Sadly, Trump never did. Tough luck. Snooze, ya loose, morally and materially. Staunch Republicans knew from the start exactly who Trump was. As soon as they chose to hold out, they sold out. Now it’s a lock, a done deal: No deposit, no return. The nominee is the party and the party the nominee. It can be no other way in a democracy.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Trump Fakes Presidential: A Better Speech Is Not A Better Candidate

Donald Trump’s known for his spontaneous speechifying, for his spewing of populist rhetoric in boundless stream of consciousness. He’s won fame for his loose pontifications, his meandering demagoguery filled with slander, insolence, ridicule and accusation, rife with malediction, indignity and derision, overflowing with hubris, racism and slander, downright festering with anger, intolerance and turmoil. For a year now the whole world has borne witness to it.

trump 15

Suddenly, though, at a Trump rally in North Carolina on 8/18, hours after a dramatic change in Trump campaign leadership, the candidate gave a more disciplined, more cohesive and more presidential speech than he ever has before.

Can this speech, a drastic, opportune departure from the rabble-rousing tirades of his sordid past reflect a sudden transformation in Trump’s personal makeup? Has Donald Trump changed? Can a superficial reference to contrition by an erstwhile vicious and impenitent bully as atonement for a solid year of unbridled impudence, untoward antics and unspeakable slurs signal newfound grace, prove earnest if belated circumspection and remorse? I don’t see how.

Trump’s taken no late shocks to the system quite seismic enough to make the leopard change his spots. The old boar behind the more refined public speaking thrives unchanged, unrepentant, uninspired, untouched. I think Donald Trump has merely gone underground. He’s opted for the optics, nothing more. He’s chosen to conceal the ugly spots for just a moment. He’s decided to appear better groomed, let his questionable image (keyword image) be artificially spun into something better fit for broad consumption under the auspices of a new and ruthless force at the helm.

trump 14

A quick image overhaul is not character evolution. A turn to diplomatic means is not a change of heart. Giving one professional speech all of a sudden does little to erase a whole year of ignoble sentiment. Tailoring a speech out of the blue to the druthers of true conservative voters can’t conceal the speaker’s proven identity. No amount of damage control can mend the tarnished image of a visible, now well-studied Donald Trump.

Steve Bannon can’t mask sufficiently the haughty, devious, overweening cad whom Trump remains and who, even if he doesn’t host personally the contagions of ethnic, religious and sexual bias, does to a large extent court, indulge, dispense and fan the flames of all these grievous wrongs.

trump 24

Trump fuels that prejudicial anger and intolerance which is tantamount to hatred and violence. He does so quite consistently and effectively, not so much through open hate mongery as through more subtle weaponry like racist rhetoric, divisive solicitation, clear, emboldening innuendo and that omnipresent, inspirational, swaggering ascendancy of the outright, dyed-in-the wool supremist.

Donald Trump remains the very miscreant he was before his latest speech, the same vicious, vacuous, vituperative vipor, the same panderer to bigots and misogynists, elitists and xenophobes, the identical purveyor of doom, fear and slander that Donald Trump has always been. Guaranteed.

Unfortunately, narcissism, arrogance, ignorance, autocracy, recklessness, profanity and bigotry, vile traits, all traits intrinsic to this one specific rich, spoiled, dyed-in-the-wool, uniquely insular septuagenarian, won’t likely vanish overnight. Of course Trump has been admonished for them all and there’s a sage old adage that applies to this awkward circumstance, to wit: If three people say you’re sick, lie down. Trump never does lie down however. Instead he seems impervious to criticism of any kind or quantity.

Then again, the presidential hopeful neither sees nor acknowledges his own fatal flaws, lauding even negative commentary positive publicity. He’s out of touch and obstinate too. Indeed, the numb-nutted needler seems to sense little outside pressure to lie down, whatever staggering number of provident and well-meaning observers bid him kindly do so. Perhaps this unwavering obstinacy derives from Trump’s stubborn self image or a die-hard element of his obvious narcissism.

In any case, there’s wisdom in the adage and I sense that while he’s loath to lie down of his own volition, reckless Donald Trump will likely fall down instead and very soon, good lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise. In the end it’s simple anyway, despite how tickled pink pundits are to harp on mere public image and the consequential need for phony speeches to promote it. It’s not just the speech but the man behind the speech who must prove presidential. Good luck with that one, Donny.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Melania Mimes Michelle in an Utter Symphony of Indiscretion, Attribution, Plagiarism and Campaign Incompetence

Melania at Podium Picture

♣ Melania Trump was stalwart, poised and eloquent in the deliverance of her speech honoring husband, now presidential nominee Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention on July 18th. That was opening day of the RNC. Since then, however, it’s grown apparent that parts of Melania’s speech were taken pretty much verbatim from a speech Michelle Obama gave to honor her own husband Barack Obama eight years ago at the DNC. Before her speech Melania Trump told Matt Lauer of NBC “I wrote it.  And with as little help as possible.”

Whether it’s true Melania cribbed parts of the First Lady’s speech herself or accepted the help of a falsehearted accessory before the fact, some friend or professional speechwriter perhaps, doesn’t matter much. Effectively the result was just the same. The wife of Donald Trump presented someone else’s words as her own at a major political do for all the world to see. Melania Trump is no professional speechwriter of course. In all fairness then, the amateur must be granted a little grace despite what amounts to a wrongful indiscretion nonetheless, a possible amateur miscalculation or maybe a poor beginner’s oversight, one made on Melania’s part or the part of a likewise inept aid. Remember, however, she did declare “I wrote it.  And with as little help as possible.”

Whatever the case, in making the speech Melania was playing a key role at a key event that was selling not only herself but a man who was nothing short of the newly chosen Republican Party nominee for president of the United States. More, she was playing the role before hundreds of millions. She was no callow middle school teen tinnily whining out her spruced-up book report for a twelfth grade Lit class. Jeese, where were Donald Trump’s manager and staff in regard to a major speech at a major event with the presidency at stake? Where was Donald Trump himself, spoiler, ringmaster, the man who would be king? What subterranean form of gross neglect could have preceded such an unthinkably inauspicious blunder?

At the least, Mrs. Trump’s clear appropriation of passages from the famed speech of another only begs more questions and caution about the Donald Trump campaign, its meager staff and Trump himself, a man whose personal qualifications and character stand in very serious question already. Was usage of Michelle’s words in Melania’s speech an act of attribution born of simple admiration, Melania’s personal admiration or maybe that of a certain aid or aids assisting, admiration for the First Lady’s own special prowess as a speechmaker or, perish the thought, was it out-and-out plagiarism?

Why was Melania’s speech never vetted? Wasn’t miming parts of Michelle Obama’s speech, whether in neophytic innocence or deference to a mentor, sure to render all sentiment in Melania’s own speech inauthentic, make Melania Trump herself appear shamefully disingenuous? Melania’s speech was already conspicuously devoid of personal references, details and anecdotes after all .

At the same time, It’s hard to imagine a seasoned professional tied to something as public as a political convention being daft enough to purposely pirate a well-known document. In that light it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that gross ineptitude lay at the heart of the matter.  When grouped with many another faux pas by the Trump campaign, a voter can only ask if such casual incompetence is indicative of the wholesale whimsy, alacrity and devil-may-care ease with which an elected Trump is bound to run the country, destined to lead the free world.

Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort flatly denied that Melania’s often word-for-word copy of Michelle Obama’s speech was intentional. More, he termed accusations of Trump campaign plagiarism “crazy” Tuesday morning on CNN, then in a flagrant bid to shift negative attention to his rival, blamed the accusations on what he framed a skittish Hillary Clinton. This is downright Orwellian.

With a ruse like this, Paul Manafort flies in the face of salient truth. He claims for all the world that things are not what they most clearly are. Who would guess the intellectually lax and incurious Donald Trump, with help from a manager thick enough to rate voters blind and stupid, would ever be first to usher in the Orwellian Age? Eliza Collins pointed out in USA Today that there was no sign Clinton was connected to the speech or its loud repercussions for that matter. Woah! Big surprise!

Paul Manafort even dared  claim similarities between Melania Trump’s speech and that of Michelle Obama were strictly coincidental, that Melania or her speechwriters selected common words to describe common values and thus some unavoidable similarities. Sorry Paul but all of those same words arranged in far too often the same sequence sentence after sentence can be no mere coincidence, even to us down here in the busy, half-lit halls of the rank and file. You can shelf your “Stupid Meter.” It’s poorly aimed and warrants calibration.

Melania and Michelle Picture

In more denial, Jason Miller, Trump’s communications advisor, threw up a thin, malodorous smoke screen. In a statement, Miller proposed that since Melania’s team of writers did draw from their notes on her “life’s inspirations” and sometimes even infused bits of “her own thinking,” the speech did originate entirely with her.

Miller then dared hint, waxing most sentimentally, that because, as he put it, “Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success” her fellow Americans would be cold and callous indeed to acknowledge the least impropriety from this fine, exemplary figure, though that impropriety glared out belittlingly at them all. In other words, working from a jingoistic fervor, Miller boldly spun the patriotic elements of Melania Trump’s speech in hopes of overshadowing any wrongdoing.

It seemed Tuesday morning that despite its crucial bearing on the event, we might never know precisely what Melania Trump meant when she apprised Matt Lauer: “I wrote it.  And with as little help as possible.” Wednesday, however, a staff-writer for Donald Trump who ghostwrote many Trump books as well quite contritely took blame for the indiscretion saying she worked with Melania Trump on her First Lady speech and wrote lines from Michelle Obama’s speech read her over the phone by Mrs. Trump as choice examples.

One Merideth McIver said she used some of the phrasing in what became Melania Trump’s final speech, then neglected to check that phrasing against Mrs. Obama’s speech, this presumably for conceptual and wording similarities. McIver claims she gave her resignation to Trump but the candidate wouldn’t have it.

Just before release of Ms. McIver’s statement, Donald Trump tweeted the message “all press is good press!” Was the event known later as the Melania speech scandal only a ploy arranged by Trump and friends for use as negative press, in other words, good press. If so, then exactly how much of Trump’s bad behavior during the past year’s campaigning was gauged to serve the same purpose?

Some two days passed before the Trump campaign conceded certain passages in Melania Trump’s speech mimed lines in Michelle Obama’s of 2008. Downright oozing insincerity, Trump manager Paul Manafort was still denying obvious similarities in a CNN interview Wednesday morning. Crooked Hillary indeed!

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Rich, Proactive Cultural Exchange Ensures Peace

Building a world community by befriending strangers on common ground works to avert prospective enemies.
♣ While war is often advanced by isolationism and procrastination, it seems leaders have always stalled real preventative action until hostility grew critical and war itself imminent. Deep involvement and open communication between cultures make for binding relationships, understanding and trust while comprising at least one viable answer to war.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Justice in America: Invoked but Not Ensured

Even in America There’s No Shield of Justice. Our Justice Must Be Bought or Requisitioned in the Streets.
♣ It’s strange, wrong and irksome that injustice in America bides long, fast, harmful and tragic because the Constitution alone can’t define the grim phenomenon. Neither is the Supreme Court or any other government institution proactive in culling out injustice, exhorting it and banishing it expediently. As it stands now, the High Court acts upon no pressing matter without public provocation, without formal petitions from lobbyists who most often speak for the rich, for corporations and other powerful special interest groups who can best afford the time, expense and craft required to even broach the US Supreme Court after all.
Unfortunately, American jurisprudence is largely a matter of citizen intervention, a very costly, time-consuming, often even indecorous procedure in which those most susceptible to injustice, average wage-earners, minorities and the poor, are banefully ill-equipped to participate. So much for individual rights, free speech, true justice and equal opportunity. It’s conspicuously odd that there exists no mandatory, cost-free, citizen-based advocate for justice, one embarked upon a daily crusade to briskly point up, weed out, enlist court ruling on and stamp out injustice on every plane, not merely contain the grave disease but prevent it as a routine part of US government operations. There’s a dire need to maintain American social justice by taking the initiative to do so and not waiting passively as usual for the unfair advantage, the inequitable privilege of the powerful to dig in, take hold, become inexorably ingrained, grow finally immoveable, normalized, distortedly acceptable, deceitfully traditional, all but unrecognizable for the treacherous injustice into which this bane of exclusivity has evolved.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com

Business Deregulation, Full Return of the Fiscal Libertine, Rampant Greed and the Grim Prospect of Major Depression

♣ Today the US economy runs on a profligate system of fiscal libertinism, a system of profiteering without reserve, responsibility, regulation or consideration for the sad lot of the average American citizen, a system favoring wealth and endorsing a winner-take-all mentality. Wall Streeters and big money in general have us all back on the same cyclical pre-Roosevelt juggernaut, the runaway roller coaster that’s made regular stops at economic disaster throughout history and which in fact induced the infamous crash of 1929.

Oddly enough, knowing this, our government has been lifting prudent regulation of Wall Street and business at large increasingly since the Reagan years, regulation duly imposed both during and after the Great Depression. Today it’s all but totally non-existent. More, the US government does precious little nowadays to curb the nasty trend toward business excess, power mongering and hindrance, even exclusion of lesser players, although each infraction has served in some measure to undermine American freedom while undoing our democratic process. Likewise, our government does precious little in curbing today what’s tantamount to greed, unbridled greed that courts destruction, rampant greed that history tells us guarantees destruction. “All aboard!” seems to shout a frenzied clique of business and government people met at the head of the wild carnival ride, a snide grin curling up their sickly blue and frothy lips “Next stop: Major depression.”

It’s like the Supreme Court ruled the most crucial human right in the US Constitution the right of man to make money, then decreed it take full precedence over all other rights and human effort, forget that the very right emerged ambiguously under the heading of free trade and the even more ambiguous themes of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Certainly such vague ambiguity renders the seemingly favorite human right, the right to make money or more aptly, big business’s right to make money, liable to clash in both interpretation and practice with the right of the less endowed to make money or otherwise gain themselves some feint semblance of life, liberty, yes or some ghostly form of that most profoundly ambiguous of ambiguities, the pursuit of happiness.

Meanwhile, given official license in recent years,  carte blanche to do whatever it pleases, big business continues to play fast and loose with the economic system and the devil take the hindmost, the hindmost being, as usual, a disinherited mass including several indiscreet rich and a huge preponderance of average as well as sub-average wage-earners doomed to plunge headlong into poverty and hopelessness. Meanwhile, given official license, carte blanche to do whatever it pleases, big business continues to play fast and loose with that which ought to be everyone’s economy but will only become everyone’s economy when final disaster strikes, when the rich take cover behind their wealth and the common man is forced to pick up the pieces.

–♦©M. D. Phillips–awincingglare.com