Santa Rosa Creek Road, Cambria CA
challenge of change
Trying to get a grip on the flux of political and social attitudes in the US this Christmas season, I circle back to the Ebru style of painting Lana taught her students.
It's an aqueous technique and the mixture of mediums and water produced fascinating and unexpected results.
We can be certain of this; the overwhelming majority of US voters are blue, but the exiting and losing reds are refusing to mix and uphold expected and time treasured traditions of our democratic republic.
If insiders are to be believed, Donald J. Trump is a man in agony. He is in full rage as his circle of sycophants gets smaller, and less stable. His derangement is now fixed as the least honorable, most deceptive and disastrous in US history.
His behavior affirms the assessment from former high perches in government to those who simply paid attention; Trump was unqualified, unfit, lacked the character and has, as predicted, endangered the security of the US.
His grip on power is fading, but there are considerations about a rejected Trump that are blips on the screen.
How should media handle private citizen Trump? That discussion has begun. Do his tweets or rallies deserve attention? Or should he be ignored, like all former US presidents have been?
The answer is simple to this journalist, but for reasons that are complex.
Democracies can die from lies. From the beginning this man has rejected all traditions of honor and decorum that have accompanied the job. Trump has actively tried to undermine and destroy our system of government and our faith in it. His manic and desperate attempt to overturn the election has been moved forward by lies, fraud, and distortions. It is dangerous.
Trump has by now effectively destroyed the Republican party of old. In its place he's created a cult of personality. The devoted sadly believe his outrageous lies and psychotic conspiracy theories. He and his followers are spreading distrust of our government and are violating important norms as well as laws.
The late justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg called Trump an aberration. That was without precedent. No less than conservative Chief Justice John Roberts also railed against Trump and his distortions and deceptions.
This, most of the world knows; Trump is an unbalanced man who lies perhaps more profusely than anyone in modern civilization. His behavior in the days since he was "land-slided" out by the nation's voters should be evidence enough the sick, destructive, fraudster deserves no regular attention. When he is indicted, or when he has a stroke as he performs for his adoring unenlightened, or when he is shot by one of his paramilitary acolytes who learns that all of his legal defense funds are streaming to his own pockets, or when one of his Russian mafia bankers grow impatient for him to payback the hundreds of millions or to fork over sensitive US knowledge, then he can get news coverage. Until then, he does not deserve it and we should not risk the damage.
I will forever hold Jeff Zucker of CNN accountable for starting the Trump landslide of attention when he became a candidate. Trump got tons more coverage than other candidate. Why? Because Zucker reasoned the crazy flamboyant hustler was unpredictable and therefore good copy. Zucker was not making a good journalistic decision, he was pandering. Soon, to their discredit, other networks followed suit and Donald Trump disrupted the Republican primary system, brought along his old TV audience, rallied racists, hustled the disenchanted and the US has suffered since.
We know, if he gets the oxygen he wants from the media, he will be a shadow president, trying to further delegitimize the federal government. He should be ignored. Perhaps without coverage of major news groups, his influence and bully power will diminish.
Brandy Zadrozny who covers the internet for NBC News expects 2021 to be the year information fatigue sets in and people will stop caring. She says she sees indications that when people seek only "my community," those of like mind, people don't care about being lied to. That seems evident in the Trump republican party.
But on January 20th, when Joe Biden takes the oath of office the majority of Americans will celebrate.
There will be work to do, just to undo the carnage.
David Wilcox is the former chief economist for the Federal Reserve. He is a PhD in Economics from MIT. Summing up the challenge ahead Wilcox said, "...the Trump administration is seeking to debilitate the economic recovery as much as possible on the way out of the door."
Then there is everything Russia, the pandemic, the trashing of international alliances, the degradation of the Justice Department, the State Department, the Pentagon, the racism, and the continuous assault on truth and honorable tradition.
So, with so much to do and watch, now it is time to pause and celebrate the hope this season represents.
Coming up next, the back story of this battered old elf. And a cautionary tale about protective mothers. It's all in good cheer, and coming in a couple of days.