Reign of error
Watch out. I am going to opine here. It seems appropriate for Friday the 13th in November. If this sort of thing makes the hairs on your eyebrows crackle, just tell me what you think of my autumn Valencia pictures. I will not be offended 😀
I don’t want to be negative or simplistic but we have some big issues to deal with right now. To me the top three are: the precarious environment, global warming and its adverse impact by human activity; the turmoil in the Middle East with its worldwide implications for terrorist threats; and the collapse of the middle class. These are global events and they are serious. Even so, we are being distracted with some very silly people. It would be comical if it weren’t so dangerous.
But, I also know that people are hurting and they have been, from what I can tell, for fifty years in a very particular way. Have some people thrived? Yes. Was there suffering prior to fifty years ago? Of course. This is a specific phenomenon, that I am referring to. I have to be brief about it because you and I are wildly busy, especially right now. Yet, I simply cannot let it go because merely watching this baffling spectacle unfold is difficult.
Our political season is not just silly, it is now, literally crazy. As a human behavior specialist, I try to understand what underlies the workings of social phenomena. Right now, it seems that the national fervor to reject the reality of life in 2015 has led to making decisions about leadership that are based on anything but sound judgments of competence.
One of our main contenders is running on a biography that he has been carefully crafting and marketing, for profit, for years. The fact that he threw his hat into the ring to me clearly demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of what it takes to run this country and that he is operating while missing a few key screws.
This man is not qualified to lead anything. He may be good with his hands, he may be good with physics and biology, but he is a ticking time bomb. And, that is understandable. You don’t have a deeply wounded childhood and then escape to adulthood unscathed. The fact that 24% of the electorate is willing to slavishly follow him down a path of failure and humiliation, speaks to how poorly we have educated the voters in America.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham has asked, astutely, since when has establishment (which is being categorically rejected) become exclusively synonymous with issue literacy? I would add in scientific evidence and experience to that concept. I have to assume that people are so desperately disappointed in their personal lives and looking for anything to grasp onto that allays their fears and tells them things will be OK, that they are casting about recklessly for anything ‘different’. Katrina van den Heuvel talks about our current time as a ‘post-truth, fact free’ era. To me that is very disturbing.
Janelle Ross has explained the Carson phenomenon very well here. And another article lays this baffling situation out for us. Naheisi Coates contends that white America loves the idea of an impoverished black man bootstrapping himself to fame and fortune without the need for any public (taxpayers’) assistance. And even the auto-promoting Donnie Deutsch, in a rare moment of self-consciousness, warns that there is no longer a siloing of media and politics and entertainment. They are all mixed together. Carson has cleverly blended the three and made millions doing it. I honestly don’t believe he anticipated the level of success he has enjoyed in this Presidential run. He is just as surprised by it as the rest of us are and is now scrambling to seem prepared and viable.
What started out as yet another avenue for generating revenue (something he has been incredibly successful at, hawking ‘inspirational’ and semi-fictitious iterations of his true biography to low-information readers, for almost two decades) has now taken on a life of its own, propelling this deeply flawed individual toward the prospect of actually winning the nomination and having to seem prepared to lead the world. He isn’t. If you listen to him fish for answers to questions you and I could answer reasonably well, just by reading headlines and ordinary articles on domestic and foreign affairs, it is clear he is over his head. Can he separate the brains of conjoined twins? Yes. Can he properly lead this country along the razor’s edge of upcoming challenges? No!
Neither can Trump. While we all just have to appreciate what the Donald has accomplished, the minute he starts talking Operation Wetback, we (again, the royal ‘we’ of even minimally intelligent and educated citizens) are brought back to our senses. No 2016 candidate can win the party nomination or the presidency talking like that!
Neither can Bernie Sanders. He is too white, socialist, Brooklyn, and grouchy to win in this vast, rather frightened, largely rural, media-influenced electorate (a lot of people don’t vote, that is why I carefully said, electorate). All of these traits may endear him to some of us incredibly, but he cannot win, no matter how much we may or may not think he represents the futuristic, post-modern aspirations of the Left. We cannot afford to bury our heads in the sanders.
Peggy Noonan, with whom I disagree on almost everything and whose very manner of speaking makes me cringe, has rightly observed that people want change. Since Nixon, their world has seemed to unravel and they blame it on the people in the government. I cannot disagree with that entirely — after all, these people are making decisions that infuriate all of us almost all the time. But, to equate the ills of the modern world with experience, training, mental and emotional stability and health, and goodness or kindness aka weakness in some people’s minds, is to get the situation very wrong. Electing the wrong person to the White House next year would be catastrophic.
As a child psychologist, I don’t want a man in that seat who calmly relates hammering his mother over the head. Forget about all the lies and distortions and ignorant statements he has made. For every trained behavioral scientist, that one action is enough to preclude this man from holding our lives in his hands.
As a world citizen, I do not want a man who believes we should round up millions of people in their homes and cart them off to camps in some other country. Does anyone remember the holocaust? Enough said.
As an urban, literate, practical person, I do not want a misanthropic, gun-supporting, idealist to take on the far right evangelical force in America. He can’t do it. He is just another Ralph Nader spoiler. Vote for Sanders and we will spend another eight years “in the bush”, as they say in Africa. None of us can afford to be there.
Images: Chez BeBe – our lake; enlargeable