The American Political System - seen by a Multiply Sclerotic
The incredible selling of an American President
The process of election of the Next President is over to anyone satisfied with its' result. To those, though, whose Side Lost, it has seemed that the Struggle, unending, was just beginning. The country, in its' plodding, quiet Reasonableness, seems to have said, 'Go back to work, behave and be quiet!' If the populace still has a job after NAFTA That is.
I sat down to write this blog ten days ago, having avoided the topic until then because I feared introduction of Politics into Hubpages would be declared unacceptable. I have just noted a clearly Wrong blog crying loud the 3,000,000 illegal votes registered in California, so I think my little sheaf of comments on how the American Political Process blunders along might be accepted.
My own education, after twelve years of Primary and Secondary education in the usual way, included 8 years in the University, four years in Medical School, five years of Residency in Surgery and Emergency Medicine and Continuing Medical Education since: ATLS. ACLS, PALS and the Reception of Boards and Fellowship in my College as well as necessary courses to buff up my still-active license to practice medicine in Arizona. I haven't actively practiced since 2007 since I was retired but I 'keep my hand in.' So, imagine my chagrin as I watched roaming gangs of self-proclaimed Liberals or Intellectuals or some such spray-painting Windows and building fronts in Northwest and Southwest Portland! My Home! I claim Arizona as my home now, having lived here almost 35 years but I'm from Portland, lived there until I was 29, have strong roots there. Even if I consider the pallid-white Populace there provincial beyond belief, I still love it. And as for fires and destruction in neighborhoods where I still like to sit out on the sidewalk and drink my morning Starbucks Black Coffee and read the Oregonian, public caning ain't in it!
Those Darn Debates!
What a Circus! I made a point of viewing as much of the debates as I could. This was so expert a production, so crystal-clear in its' presentation, so Emotional in its' content. However could I eat dinner while watching this? Not very well. If I could see the behind-the-scenes Highjinks, couldn't anyone else? This seemed to drag on through October.
A big part of the problem this year was that, with MS, I am no longer as Mobile as I once was. Once my wife is gone for the day to teach, I can only get out of the house via WiFi and that only if my fingers/hands work the way expected. I have a net of cracks on the iPad face pad to demonstrate that this is a real problem. Fortunately, I can now exit the house in multiple ways and if my nervous system isn't functioning well, a few minutes Outside will usually clear this up.
The questions asked both Hil and Don were Rigged, suspected at once but proved to be slanted in the following weeks. Asking questions at the Presidential Debate should have been such a plum for a Reporter but so many of them were shown to have colluded with Hillary and her side. The only good thing to come out of the media embarrassment was that it has become easier to decide which 'reporter' to trust from now on. Interestingly, Trump is such a good Infighter and Rouser of the Rabble, it was all Jam to him. And we now know whom not to trust. And I wasn't going to vote for the Billary team anyway, though voting for The Donald was to be Very Off-Putting.
The Drive by Media
From the time I was a small child, I was taught to respect and trust American news sources. 'And that's the way it is..' ended the CBS Evening news each weeknight. The weekly Killed-and -Wounded numbers showed the North Vietnamese were being slaughtered. All through Grade School. Believe it or not. The Media has never been conservative and most of us Americans thought this was the way it should be. Me included.
The Fourth Estate, though, has now surrendered to some Side or another and no longer reports the news but Spins it: news plus how it should be understood. This is not new.
I watched the evening news all through my childhood and did so until I was in college, when I was busy with so many other things. When I again saw the news, I was able to immediately see how the items were spun, were not truly objective. It has gotten progressively worse since then. Forty years later. And, it has Never Been Any Different. We must all see this. All it means for us is that we really do have to take the best info we can find and think it through and make up our own minds.
The Media, by their actions, speak against the idea of fairness in American politics. It really, as in most of These United States, is a matter of selling something. In this case, a President, a political philosophy, a poll of expected results. Half the nation hates what they must endure for at least four years. The other half see it as the last chance for America to remain a constitutional republic. In ten years, I'm sure I'll look back on it all and shake my head sadly, seeing the same stuff happening yet again.
Mark Twain wrote a humorous piece about his taking a job with a mid-country local newspaper, writing reasonable, sober opinion pieces and being instructed by his editor on how news and opinion should be written, as Twain, the Editor and even the printing machinery are physically attacked from outside. It hasn't changed, we see.
Selling the Presient, the Careful Management of the Brand
Loud insults feel good at the time but ultimately harm you. I think The Donald will find this out soon enough. He may think his policies and plans now safe and assured but the way he ran roughshod over so many powerful people can only result in hard patches, politically, to come. Future Allies must be treated kindly and not just as much-loved Underlings. We will see how he does. Again, it has all happened before. After managing to avoid the coronation of King George I by Washington's own refusal for more Terms as President, there appeared the first Family hierarchy in John Adams and John Quincy Adams, then we had the first Rowdy President with bare-faced selling of positions and free whiskey at the poling places with Andrew Jackson, now honored on our Twenty Dollar bills and by gosh, we even survived that.
Nobody ever forgets where they buried the hatchet. (This is one of my very favorite quotes.) Mr Trump should remember that. His big task over the next year or so, must be to mend all the fences he has trampled in his successful bid for the Presidency. Difficult to exactly define, not a real conservative, a ?populist, a capitalist but not of the true crony kind, we hope he tears out of the starting gate with his promises in hand and rapidly sets things to right hereabouts.
Political Parties: Now and in the Future
Political parties were originally made to bring large groups together physically before reliable commuication was assumed and road improvements made. Our election process took a much longer time a century or more ago when our Very Large country was langer still, when the States on the coasts were separated by vast tracts of wilderness and communication was yet unsure. The all-inclusive simplification and amalgamation of political ideas was clear by the mid- to late 1800s with the elimination of most 'fringe parties' by their inclusion into the Republicans and Democrats. Thomas Nast, political cartoonist par excellance, first drew the elephant and donkey and ingrained them into our minds forever. Before the radio, let alone the television, the daily papers gathered Americans about, literate or not: the message of the political cartoons was obvious and has never had such a powerful effect as it did then.
Today, the animals associated with the parties are there but now not as important in our minds. The video pictures of the the candidates have become the advertisement we too often base our decisions on. This can be dangerous. My mom's family is, has been, genteel and Democratic since the Great Depression. FDR was their Saint. These are very good people. Trustworthy, unlike Hillary. Being conservative, unable to take Donald's crass, bullying demeanor, I spent several months looking at both Hillary and Donald carefully. Hillary was horrible in my final view. Self-serving? Untrained for and grasping of Power? A tool, letting the Stink of Bill back into the White House for another eight years? Worse still, possibly hiding a sick constitution and thus invalidating her role from the onset of her term? On the other hand, Donald with his low-brow Persona, his confusion about facts and circumstances, his schoolyard bullying role. This fellow the picture of the sober, reasonable Republican? Sweet God.
So, the final decision was based on the appointees likely to be seen around Trump and the people surrounding and affecting Hillary.
My final decision and vote is private and nobody's business but my own.
Victory by Pleurality: How Lincoln was elected
Lincoln was elected by 40% of the electorate. We must always remember this, since his apparent Rube-ness made him no friends along the line between Richmond and Boston. At a debate held at Harvard he stood and addressed the group, 'Mister Cheerman,' with his Kentucky accent and high voice and ribald laughter and hooting resulted. He was called an ape by the New York Intelligencia and even made his way into Washington under the stormy pall of threatened assassination. The first attempt on his life was reportedly made on that ride.
Father Abraham came into his office by means of a Pleurality. So also the Donald. Probably because the biggest, most populous states were taken by Hillary, the democrat ticket took the popular victory. The Electoral College ensures Trump's win. Let's keep the College. It prevents mob rule.
Portland Oregon is a provincial town full of undisciplined, self-righteous white children, many of whom I went to school with and call my friends. Spray painting state buildings and trashing a downtown where I lived and worked again makes me glad I'd have trouble standing and screaming and inciting my own Riot. God Bless MS!
The text is my own and I claim Copyright privilege.