Questions, Comments And Opinion From Lotus Land on The President Who Turned Facebook into Facekick

By Dennis Tkach. In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible (about the Salem witch trials) from the very start, the evidence for Salem being a hotbed of witchcraft is not good. As the play unfolds it is clear to the judges overseeing the witch trials that the evidence was utterly fabricated and bogus. However, by this time several people have already been executed for witchcraft. What can the judges do? At a key point in the play the judges decide that they had better keep the executions going, otherwise their credibility and standing would be destroyed.

A similar inertia feeds Trump Fever. It is a prime example of why arguing over politics is a futile exercise. It should be very clear to anyone with even a scintilla of intelligence that no one bitten by either the ‘Trump’ or ‘Dump Trump’ bug is ever going to change their opinion or admit they are wrong. Facebook has transformed itself into a shocking battlefield full of comments that do nothing but illustrate one of the many dangers lurking in the world of social commentary. What we are witnessing is anathema to the Christian/Judaic values we should be holding close to our hearts. Aye AND naysayers, listen up! Only history as the referee, will decree who walks out of the D.C. Octagon a victor… and who lies bloodied on the canvas floor.

It is saddening for the rational, to witness the constant stream of verbal mudslinging that attacks, insults, denigrates, mocks or glares at anyone who disagrees with them. And yes, it comes from both sides of the cage.

What is even more alarming…. no, TERRIFYING…. is what this animosity is doing within one of the greatest nations on Earth. Optimists hoped that the past Presidential election would prove to be a political version of the balm of Gilead… a healing agent that would turn hearts and minds of the GOP and the Democrats away from the hatred that reared its ugly head during the Bush/Obama administrations. When Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden into the lone and dreary world, the serpent followed them.

Of course, both sides are going to disagree. This synergy is what drives progress through good times and bad. Aspirin can reduce fever and headache but hate is a poison that only love can overcome. I don’t see much love bouncing around the walls of D.C. A prayer to the God of Reason: Oh Lord, let both sides return to a time of discussion and compromise. Help to turn the hearts and minds of men from inertia into impetus. Can I have an ‘amen’?

Like Donald Sutherland in “Kelly’s Heros” we should be saying to both parties, “What’s with the negative waves, Moriarity?” To which followers of the Vulcan seer, Spock, would add their own ‘amen’… “most illogical.”

And what can be said we who dwell in Canada’s Garden, here in the lower mainland? After all, we reside intimately close to our southern neighbor. As Canadians we hold our own national pride and individualism very close to our hearts. We understand that we are much more than the humorous differentiating definition of Canadians as unarmed North Americans with health care. But, given the relevance of our relationship with America it is perfectly natural to have strong opinions about issues such as Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty’s governance. Like it or not such governance directly or indirectly affects The True North. (Take the pipeline for example.)

But why do so many Canadians get sucked into the black hole of the aforementioned negativity currently showing a ‘Dorian Gray face-in-the-attic’ on social media? Here’s a novel idea: Why not simply state your opinion then shut the hell up? Who appointed you as a referee, with authority to attack others whose opinion differs from yours? Ignorance, as I have often spouted from my soapbox, can be cured with knowledge and consideration. There is no cure for stupid.

I too, have taken a side. The same side as most journalists, but I was especially drawn to a recent column in the Ottawa Citizen by one Canadian author in particular. He is a journalist, a professor and a Fulbright Scholar in Washington D.C. (He is also a cousin of the late dear departed Leonard Cohen.)

In his brilliant essay Andrew Cohen explains how the system of checks and balances are working in constraining Donald Trump’s reckless presidency. It is due to the freedom of the media that we are able to watch how the legislature, the judiciary, civil society and public opinion, these ‘traditional guardians of democracy’ are constantly at play checking Trump’s excesses.

The judiciary has stopped the President’s ban on Muslims entering the U.S.A.

And no, it is not a partisan response. Several in different states, judges appointed by presidents of both parties have so acted. Trump may issue other executive orders, asserting his prerogative, but when he oversteps rest assured he will be challenged by the courts.

In the senate, Democrats are proving to be an effective opposition. They are publicizing, delaying and discrediting the most egregious of Trump’s cabinet nominees with hearings and all-night vigils. They have held accountable a secretary of education who dislikes public schools and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency who distrusts regulation.

The real opposition, Cohen goes on to say, will come from Republicans of conscience in the senate. They will include Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, and the most important one of all, John McCain.

This is his chance to be a statesman, rising above politics. He has broken with Trump on many issues but his biggest test is yet to come. McCain leads the committee investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

Its findings could determine the future of Trump’s presidency.

The media are playing their role. It was not biased opinion that is employed by The Washington Post and the New York Times in particular when they ‘brilliantly’ exposed ineptitude and infighting in the administration. Politico, MSNBC and CNN are also proving effective.

Without the media, Michael Flynn would not have been forced out as national security advisor. And it should be noted that that body blows, the leaks are coming from within the government, the FBI and the intelligence community, all showing their independence.

Civil Society is also an imperative, assuring the playing field is level, the refereeing fair. The American Civil Liberties Union took Trump to court over the Muslim ban… and won the day.

The most devastating critics, however, are entertainers and comedians. They are merciless and their public popularity is, as ratings prove, soaring through the roof.

Last, but certainly not least, is public opinion. Trump’s disapproval rating is between 43 and 55%, the worst of any president, Republican OR Democrat EVER, after one month in office.

November 18, 2018. Mark this on your calendar. At that time Congressional Republicans will be shoring up defenses to protect their seats. They will be faced with the hard choice of abandoning Trump or reaping the wrath of their constituents.

With Donald J. Trump the traditional limitations on a president – a sense of history, humility, generosity and decency – do not apply. In the past these noble traits of leadership have acted as brakes on the vain and the venal. Not here.

Cohen sums up his critique with the following:

“He continues to provoke, insult and lie. He crashes around the White House like a gorilla at a kid’s birthday party. He blows off steam in a press conference. He insults Sweden, exaggerates his electoral victory, ignores rising examples of anti-Semitism, and skewers his opponents.”

In summation, no, I do not believe that Hillary Clinton was the solution. There are several individuals on both sides of the aisles that would make, will make much better presidents than Donald J. Trump. Mike Pence included. This is the way I see it, but hey, I might be wrong.

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