I’ve grown weary of debating about Trump, the person. I find the man insufferable, but debating about the person is futile.
I actually had a good conversation once, but since then not so much. Arguing about Trump, the person, leads down a rabbit hole with no resolution. There’s no value added and the debate is ultimately irrelevant anyway. I’ll explain.
Instead, value lies in debating issues — provided there’s some degree of mutual respect and the discussion is civil. Wrestling with ideas and perspectives can benefit everyone involved even if no one changes their opinion. You don’t have to always win. There’s value alone in at least briefly considering another’s point of view. There’s value in being forced to coherently articulate and defend your own position against the other person’s argument. Both “sides” can come away having learned something even if neither gives ground. That’s OK.
Set in Stone
I’ve concluded — finally; I’m a slow learner — that nothing is gained debating about Trump, the person, except possibly skull fracture from beating one’s head against the wall (not the one Mexico is paying for). People’s opinions of Trump are set in stone. The polls certainly reflect this. Trump’s support among the broad general population, as measured by the Gallup Poll, has fluctuated between 35% and 45% his entire presidency. It’s gone over 45% only six times but never reached 50%. People love Trump or they hate him — period. With opinions and perceptions this hardened over 3½ years, further debate about the man himself is pointless.
Last weekend I indulged in my umpteenth Trump debate. I woke Monday morning with that sickly hangover-type feeling, “God, why did I do that? Again?” I’ve decided I’m done. I’m joining a 12-step program and swearing off my Trump addiction — well… after I get in this one closing shot. (It won’t sway the supporters, I realize, but it’ll feel good.)
There’s another problem with debating about Trump. People often assume this implies that I support for the Democrats. I find this happens a lot. “Oh yeah, but what about Obama?!” they retort or “Oh yeah, but what about Biden?!” As if this is supposed to sway me.
News Flash: I haven’t voted for either party in a presidential election since 1972, almost 50 years ago. I see them as merely factions of a single party, both serving the ruling rich in a game of good cop/bad cop. I’ll delve into this subject more in coming months.
Keep Your Eyes on the Working Class
Friends whose political bearings and judgement I trust implicitly have told me for years, “Keep your eyes on the working class.” That’s where the action is and where the answers lie.
The Republicans and Democrats don’t represent the true needs and interests of working people — that’s us, whether we work in a factory or in an office. Either way, we sell our labor for a paycheck. As Helen Keller put it,
“Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. We elect expensive masters to do our work for us, then blame them because they work for themselves and for their class.”
Debating Trump, the person, obscures the fact that the real problem facing us is the system. There was injustice and inequality before Trump. There was corruption before Trump. There was also poverty, unemployment, racism, sexism, anti-semitism, union busting, voter suppression, and on.
Trump likes to rail against the so-called “Fake News,” and there is a certain fake-ness to it for sure — but it’s not the fake-ness that Trump talks about. The media largely ignores a growing interest and impatience among working people for genuine legitimate change of a kind that is beyond anything Trump could possibly understand. And it’s a change he certainly wouldn’t support — nor would the democrats! Review Hellen Keller’s quote again. I’ll talk about this too in coming months.
Trump Brings McCarthy to Mind
All this said, I have to say that Trump stands out above all the rest — Tweedledum². Watching him I envision what Joe McCarthy might have been like as President instead of Senator. Like McCarthy, Trump is a demagog who relishes in personal attack and intimidation. He needs a stern dressing down like Joseph N. Welch gave McCarthy in 1954. It was the beginning of the end for McCarthy.
Perverse, Insidious — and Tantalizing
Trump is uniquely perverse, insidious — and tantalizing. He’s that car wreck you know shouldn’t crane your neck to look at, but do anyway. If he wasn’t such a clear and present danger, I’d feel sorry for him. He appears to be a hollow, angry and needy person, totally incapable of feeling compassion or empathy. He can’t even pretend convincingly. He slips into a flat spiritless monotone when he tries. All that matters to Trump is Trump. And worse, he won’t hesitate to unleash whatever ugly force he thinks necessary to get his way.
Some people don’t see it. Certainly the 35%-45% comprising his base don’t. Or worse, they do and they like it or rationalize it. I find it incomprehensible that people accept and even praise his behavior and demeanor. Is this how people would want their kids to behave? Their spouse? To boast, bully, name call, evade responsibility, and the rest?
My Closing Shot
As I said, people’s opinions of Trump, the person, are pretty much set in stone. It’s pointless to argue about him and I don’t plan to again. Instead I’ll just point people to this post!
I offer here as my last word several videos that help illustrate the absurdity of the man and the duplicity of the conservative media that backs him.
Trump the Genius
Trump can’t stand being seen as less that The Best & The Brightest among all people on all things. He’s forever telling us how extraordinarily brilliant and knowledgable he is — again and again since, I guess, it’s apparently not immediately obvious.
“No one knows more about [fill in the blank] than me!” – Donald Trump
And for a genius, of course, everything is easy.
Shameless Duplicity of Fox News
Fox News and conservative media blew gaskets over Obama as these clips show. That’s fine, but it’s laughable now comparing Trump today to the criticisms of Obama. I guess what’s good for the goose isn’t so good for the gander after all.
Equal Time Department
While this post is about Trump, the Democrats are not above the same absurdity and duplicity seen to these Fox News clips. For more on this, click here.
Title image: The White House / Public Domain
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