November 27, 2023

Donald Trump is not the only problem

Sam Smith – Donald Trump is not the only problem. In fact he is the beneficiary of problems at least as much as he’s their creator. Consider these factors:

  • Civic and moral values have increasingly been defined by lawyers and courts. If you follow such cases involving someone like Trump one thing becomes apparent: The law has a different standard of decency than, say, religion or community values. In fact, most American villages and towns wouldn’t put up locally with someone like Trump, but once it has become just a legal matter he can manipulate things far more easily and for a much longer time.
  •   There is a decline in conventional religion, once a major source of domestic values. To be sure those who use pseudo religious arguments to damage others continue to do well, but in 1973 those who called themselves Protestant amounted to 60% of the public.  By 2022 it was down to 34%.  Further, capitalistic values have soared while church attendance is down. 
  •   The teaching of ethics and community values in schools has declined. As American Progress put it some years ago,” “While the 2016 election brought a renewed interest in engagement among youth, only 23 percent of eighth-graders performed at or above the proficient level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress civics exam, and achievement levels have virtually stagnated since 1998”
  •   Community groups and other non-profits are losing ground. According to one report, “Forty percent of organizations reported losses in total revenue for 2020, including 54 percent of arts organizations and 36 percent of all other nonprofits. Organizations that reported losses lost an average of 31 percent of total revenue and 7 percent of their paid staff by the end of the year."

In short, Trump is benefiting greatly from things he didn’t cause but which aid him immensely. We won’t get rid of Trump types without rediscovering the decency that used to be part of being American.


Anonymous said...

Truths such as these clearly underline issues we must understand if we hope to rescue democracy from the grasp of autjhoritarians.

Se,per Paratus

Anonymous said...

OK, but I think the U.S. is looked at two different ways, but two different people.

1.) By ‘the rich’. Where everything is hunky-dory. (Note: They have all the Money and Power)
Here, Lawyers and Courts are working in their favor… who cares about ‘Civic and Moral Values’, ‘Religion, or ‘Community Groups’. Those are for the hoi palloi, not for Übermensch. "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good", as espoused by Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street seems to be an accepted mantra, and Gekko’s character has been cited as a realistic image of a corporate psychopath.
This ‘fits’ with “Objectivism” of Ayn Rand, Libertarians, Alan Greenspan, etc.

2.) By most people where:
Popular thinking:
Politicians have been ‘bought-and-paid-for’ by entities unknown, more now because of Citizens United.
The Supreme Court has been ‘bought-and-paid-for’ and are unwilling to even admit that fact and police themselves.
Religion has failed in ‘crazy’ ways bigger than Elmer Gantry ever thought; by denying scientific principles; and by various failings regarding money, politics, and morality.

What seems to be the problem:
People fear the ‘unknown’. People want Answers. They want Action.

Our current ‘system’ doesn’t work anymore.

Money is King. Correcting a Plutocracy will be difficult.
Until then, people will follow anybody, even a leader who is brash, opinionated, loud, etc. It apparently doesn’t matter that they Lie… It is expected isn’t it? So it is done more, if only to ‘spit-in-the-eye’ of other politicians, which garners even more followers. Lacking a nice smile only leads to believing he is “serious”, wink, wink.

Hate. (Sadly, but not the best solution. Merely the one being utilized)
Hate for everybody. Women towards men: jobs, status, conformity. Men toward perceived threats regarding lifestyle, family, income, status. People are told to Hate immigrants and (surreptitiously) indirectly, people of color. These ‘groups’ are now our “Community Groups”, like Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, etc.

Answer: (Pick One)
1.) Hell-In-A-Handbasket
2.) Tax the Rich. No PACs. Get money and religion out of Politics. Get money and religion out of Legal System. Replace current SCOTUS. Make Wall Street and Banks ‘responsible’, No bailouts. Keep Politics out of the Federal Reserve. Hold Politicians to legal and ethical demands imposed upon every citizen – Hold accountable politicians who Lie, or Threaten physical harm other politicians / individuals, or Encourage rebellion, or Can’t reliably complete a sentence.