Truth or Consequences
There is no ultimate truth.
Maybe facts, thoughts, observations, feelings, conjecture, research, beliefs and wishes. Even what has been scientifically proven is sometimes revised, as we learn more, dig deeper, examine situations from multiple perspectives and consider the origins or the genesis of ” the truth”. The shifting ground upon we stand is never completely stable; however, the sense of a truth can be upheld , and with examination by specialists who have studied and contemplated previous iterations, pondered recent revelations, and set themselves upon a scholarly path, we can accept, for example, that germs cause disease; that ice bergs melting is indicative of weather disruption, that children respond better to kindness than violence, that guns kill. There can be a consensus backed up by experimentation. But age and experience also teach lessons: many to ensure that we look with fresh eyes; others, as Atticus explained to Gem, that until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you will not know their pain. Understanding our world is in deed a process, and as Mr. Crack, a former art colleague piped, ” You catch more flies with honey, than vinegar”, remembering not to throw out the baby with the bath water, so we sort through and consciously consider what science and experience is teaching us, separating the wheat from the chaff.
And this week I thought I’ld move away from writing about Trump, but really with Trump’s continual attacks on the Press, this time about the Press’s hiding terrorist attacks, so I cannot hold back. Even Scott Pelly in the nightly news referred to these statements in a rather jocular, incredulous, ironic , irreverent tone, barely keeping himself from rolling his eyes as if to say, “ Hey folks, just more of the same”..And by the way, please do not forget Kellyann’s noting the “ Bowling Green. Massacres”. D’ uh. And then too, Trump’s support of Putin by insulting American forces use the same techniques as the Russians ( well, maybe- ), and so are not lily white either. To my above paragraph, I shudder to acknowledge that words and reflection do not exist in the realm of this presidency by him, nor his minions. Does saying it make it so?
Worst of all for me, I hate how he addresses his audiences, recalling Father Knows Best, in his patronizing way, ” Don’t worry folks… I have the solution ,” blah, blah , blah, as if he, simple minded that he is, has the answers and can fix all of the problems in the world.
I have always lauded the importance of form and content coalescing as in say, the work of the Bauhaus, but when neither possesses substance, all falls down. But so unfortunately,the entire world is the captive audience upon which the careless tirades come to rest.
Jewish people use the Yiddish word “ bubamisces” which means something like fairytales, some that veer pretty close to tall tales or lies, narratives or stories people make up to smooth and sooth: like the tooth fairy to assuage the pain of a tooth that refuses to twist from a sore gum. Everyone knows they are stretching beyond the realm of truth, but with a wink, the bubamisces are accepted with a smile, all knowing it is an untruth. In this case, Trump believes in them, concocted in the moment to disprove any allegation or suggestion with which he disagrees.
One, of course ,cannot accept Trump’s untruths, his alternative facts such as climate change , voter registration, immigration as the cause and result of terrorism as truths or facts. That he consciously makes up these statements to counteract or reply to his critics is tantamount to the little boy with his hand in the cookie jar, swearing that he didn’t steal the cookies. I’m wondering if anyone still believes him, his supporters even championing his cabinet, one swamp resembling another, whether it is the good ole boys who ruined your life or the bankers on Wall Street. But I imagine they do still support him as he is showing himself as a man of action, carrying out his promises made during the election. And for those who would call for his impeachment, waiting in the wings is the more diplomatic, smoother but just as bad Mike Pence.
The upshot is that people listening to their president realize that words DO matter, that you cannot insult the” so- called lawyer” who stands in the way of the Immigration ban and not have people react. His little condescensions of “ sad” or” bad” at the end of his twitter posts, just embarrassing final strokes of a scattered mind without a filter. Not long ago, we understood that as we speak so we think and so changing our language from firemen to firefighters, airline hostesses to flight intendants to contain all genders does reroute our synapses onto a new path : that includes and speaks to a more open approach, being gender inclusive in a variety of professions. Trump’s broken down bits and shout outs are once again reminiscent of the adolescent who communicates with his buddies in the gym lockers at high school.
Like Alice , we are feeling that things are getting curiouser and curiouser. Yet Trump is actualizing the platform he ran on. That there has been such an outcry against Betsy De Voss is gratifying but it was assured that Pence would break the vote for another incompetent billionaire into power. That so many are so upset as verified by the number of people calling, writing and calling their congress people demonstrates en mass, that education matters and someone who has never attended a public school ( and neither have her children) has no experience to make important decisions regarding the future of the nation. Yet, what experience did Trump have, either, that put him in his role? If it worked for him, why not her? Even some of the Republicans cannot support these alarming trends .
A few weeks ago, a participant on Meet the Press voiced the opinion that Trump has normalized racism, sexism, and all the “isms” we have countered in the last years. And to allow and accept these slurs to be part of daily life is unacceptable. I thought this so strongly during the debates when Trump’s comments on blood or Rosie O’ Donnell or his fellow debaters were so out of line. Every parent hearing their child make these comments would have immediately given him a time out, sent him to his room , or insist he apologize. But no moderator turned off his mike, and even those interrupting his barrage of offensive outpouring were talked over. To make it acceptable, to normalize his insults is to stand by and accept them. I recall back in Grade 13 when we studied Murder in the Cathedral, one of the predominant themes concerned those who did not speak, but bore witness, had to share the guilt of the crimes being committed.
Victory against his ban on immigration provided cheers and a reinforcement that no one branch of government can hold sway over the others. We can only hope that more restrictions put on his orders will demonstrate to this megalomaniac that he can be checked. Yet I am quite sure, other evil types in the White House will be searching the loopholes and detours around the unconscionable manoeuvres he believes he is so able to pull. A early cartoon by Dr.Seuss about the time of World War II attacked the careless abandon of children from other parts of the world ( how they were to survive ) ,a slogan printed on a tee shirt of a character, reading America First.
Who said, Love thy neighbour?
Again, I shudder to think that the values of care, cooperation, compassion are not being lauded, as Barrack and Michelle Obama did, in the 21st Century. That selfishness, self- interest, close- mindedness are the virtues being shouted from the roof tops. Although laughable that Trump and Kellyann had to defend poor little Ivanka’s brand, that they do not know and respect the office of president sufficiently to keep separate the private and professional sides of the Trump family, is mind- blowing.
Business above all as we take care of our own. We fiddle as Rome burns. We couldn’t care less!
I was about to write, Let’s hope next week’s blog will focus on something more uplifting than Trump’s idiotic pursuits, but with the court’s rulings, there are ripples of better thinking- and words that should underline meaning.