Featuring essays by Elizabeth George on the future of our country
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A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
MEA CULPA
GIVE THE GOP A LANDSLIDE VICTORY
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART II
THE ELEPHANT, THE ROOM, AND THE PEOPLE
PART I
MONEY GRUBBING FEMALES, UNITE!
WE AREN’T ELECTING A HOMECOMING QUEEN
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
THE TOOTSIE ISSUE
Toddlers 4 President!
CRYING BABIES AND OTHER PRESSING MATTERS OF STATE
Democratic Convention 2016: How It Might Have Been
I’D LIKE TO FEEL THE BERN, ONLY…
AN UNFORTUNATE REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST
On Matters of the Lie, the War, and Judgment
EGO, POLITICS, AND THE PRESIDENCY
On Getting What We Deserve
HOW JANUARY 2017 WILL LOOK
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DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN


At one point during the contentious Democratic primary, actress Susan Sarandon commented nationally that “some of Bernie Sanders’ supporters” would probably vote for Trump if Mr. Sanders did not win the nomination because that would “bring on the revolution” more speedily. These months later, having been witness to Mr. Trump’s style of campaigning, to his associates and their philosophies, to the falsehoods and distortions of the truth that Mr. Trump has spoken or tweeted, to the contempt with which Mr. Trump has treated entire ethnic groups (not to mention his own supporters) I find myself wondering if Ms Sarandon would like to stand up and be counted as a patriot now. A patriot personifies Country First, not “my way or the highway.” Of course, for Ms Sarandon to do this, she would have to apologize for something said in the heat of whatever-it-was-she-was-feeling in that moment. She would also have to say “I was wrong.” She would also have to encourage those people who want to cast a protest vote to vote, instead, in a manner guaranteed to defeat the most dangerous man who has ever run for the Presidency of our country. The only problem is…I’m not sure Susan Sarandon is a patriot. If she were, I expect we’d have seen her long ago doing everything on earth that she could do to make certain Donald Trump is not elected to the Presidency.

I have watched this election unfolding since June 2015, and it’s no surprise to me that the GOP has ended up with an unashamed pathological liar as their nominee. I don’t say this because I believe the GOP is filled with such people. I say this because the GOP stood to one side and let it happen just as the GOP stood to one side and allowed their party to be taken over by rightwing extremists, all in name of winning elections. In this, however, the GOP was assisted by the media who acted the part of Mr. Trump’s dupes from the moment he called Mexicans seeking a better life in the US rapists, drug dealers, and other criminals. The media gave him hours of air time from that moment onward, and Mr. Trump—knowing that they would do this—played them like fools from the first.

Here’s what he knew: If he dominated every news cycle by making ugly and outrageous comments—whether they be true or false— he would garner all the attention to himself, leaving the rest of the GOP field struggling to get their messages across. Do you know what Jeb Bush stood for? what Marco Rubio’s plans for America were? what John Kasich had in mind? Aside from Ted Cruz’s big plan to carpet bomb wherever ISIS was suspected to be hanging out, was there anything else you learned about his plans for the country? My guess would be no. You had very little chance to learn about any of the other candidates because Donald Trump kept you from learning about them by defining the narrative of the election in such a way as to make that narrative seem real. And the media bought it. He cast the line; they bit; he hauled them ashore. He continues to do that.

During the primary, the narrative was about:
Lying Ted Cruz
Little Marco Rubio
Low energy Jeb Bush
The wall, the wall, the wall (Mexico will “pay” for this, of course, because Donald will simply tell the contractors to send Mexico their bills if they wish to be paid once they’ve finished their labors. Mexico, of course, who did not hire them, will not pay. The contractors will lose out, but that’s how Donald has done business for decades.)
Ugly Carly Fiorino
My standing in the polls my standing in the polls, my standing in the polls
Crooked Hillary

During the general election, he is doing the same. He knows that if he can dominate the 24 hour news cycle every day—and differently from the day before—two of his purposes will be achieved: He will keep the media from featuring his opponent and her proposals for the country and he will also keep the media from looking more deeply into him. He is doing this because it has so far worked. Why mess with success?

One example of digging that might have been done at some point was a strong look at Mr. Trump’s charitable foundation. That look would have revealed that the main charity to which Mr. Trump’s foundation gives is Mr. Trump. This is absolutely illegal. This is court worthy. But who has the time to dig into this bit of Mr. Trump’s life when instead it’s more fascinating to air footage of him accusing Hillary Clinton of being the person who first questioned President Obama’s place of birth. This, of course, was an outright lie, but truth is not important to Mr. Trump. What is important is defining the narrative of the election every single day. If he can do that—as he has done—then he controls a process that should have been about vetting him from June 2015 onward but has instead been about infotainment in the pursuit of ratings.

Witness his recent announcement that Lester Holt—the moderator of the first Presidential debate—is a Democrat. Mr. Holt is a registered Republican as things turn out, but the seed has been planted so if Mr. Holt questions Mr. Trump with too much vigor, it will be because he’s a Democrat and not because Mr. Trump either has something to hide or doesn’t know a thing about the question he’s been asked.

Mr. Trump knows his audience well. He sees them as people who do not read newspapers or news magazines, who follow twitter as one of their main sources of information, who watch reality television of the Housewives of Wherever ilk, who know nothing about the country’s history, who watch Fox News to learn what is going on in the country and the world, and who see him—as a well-dressed woman on a flight from Frankfurt was heard saying just this last week—as “a good guy” or, more ridiculously, “just like us.”

Mr. Trump is not like us. He is sui generis. He is a man who has made money by selling his name to be plunked on buildings which he himself had no hand in building around the globe. He is a brand; he is not a leader. But he has led millions of people down a merry path toward perdition through pretense and outright prevarication. If he is allowed to continue defining the narrative of the election as he has done so far, there is a very good chance he will be elected President of the United States.

He is a man without dignity, a man without intelligence, a man without conscience, a man without heart. He has shown this from the moment he first opened his mouth. He is no patriot, and he wouldn’t know what patriotism even is. To vote for him as President for any reason is akin to casting the country into the void.

I earnestly pray that does not happen. More and more, though, I think it will.



- Elizabeth George
Whidbey Island
Washington State

 

 
 

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