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December 4, 2016


Let’s wax philosophical. There are two articles in a Washington Post enclosure today which discuss truth itself as a mere commodity to be used or ignored in the coming Trump administration in which even facts are to be of no moment unless they fit some political scheme. I think this manipulative view of reality by Trump is at base more dangerous than evidence of it (evidence such as I didn’t call Taiwan – they called me, I won in a landslide etc.).

Such a view of reality in a dream world which ignores truth and facts, especially as a guide to policy formation, is clearly surreal and Orwellian and dangerous to our democracy for a number of reasons just as it was in Orwell’s Oceania, chief of which is that without a common understanding of reality, we cannot effectively communicate with one another, and if we cannot effectively communicate, then how are we to govern or to be governed when we don’t speak the same language? Such a failure, of course, sets the stage for a Big Brother strongman to take over to (ostensibly) save the state from collapse (read Trump). Think the St. Petersburg of Lenin in 1917 and the burning of the Reichstag orchestrated by Hitler in Germany en route to dictatorship.

I don’t see how we can survive as a democracy or as a viable state or even survive period if we cannot rely on truth and facts. What kind of world are we manufacturing if we cannot believe anything anybody says in an environment in which nobody is required to live up to honest and objective standards as we have come to know and understand them, a new world in which we can do most anything we please without any accounting for such conduct simply by blaming others for such transgressions?

Does anyone join me in my vision of seeing the social cohesion of our society unravel leading to the possibility of a failed state as a result of such denial of reality and truth in making policy, or have I been out in the sun too long here in Florida and am pushing the panic button prematurely without waiting for the dust to settle from the recent election? I hope I am wrong, and that after January 20 politicians will speak the same language, one of compromise and nuance and getting things done on behalf of America, its people and its future, but given some of the antics of Trump and some of his supporters and the heavy influence of money in our political process, I cannot pretend to be optimistic, and am not. I do not live in their world, and refuse to join it. I live in a world of right and wrong, cause and effect, and I’m not leaving it for a world of libertarian anarchy leading to possible oblivion.

Parenthetically, I am reminded of the Greek city-states who fought among themselves and became so internally weakened that they were easily conquered by Roman legions – and after only 169 years in the city-state of Athens of what was then a newfangled idea called democracy, or self-government. I hope that is not our fate, but without truth and facts to guide us, a failed state is a possibility, and while there may not be Chinese and/or Russian legions marching in to make us a vassal state, with a loss of our most precious asset – our democracy – we will inevitably fade into some third world status subject to the economic and political whims of first world countries.

Aside from politics, there is mounting and objective evidence that we have given our electoral if not popular vote to a man who is mentally ill, and I don’t write that lightly, but how else to describe his conduct, or the lack of it? What have we done, and what are we going to do about it, and when?   GERALD      E




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